With an end to the pandemic (hopefully) in sight, the movie industry is looking toward the future. Movie theaters were hit hard by COVID-19, but they’re hoping to come back strong, and soon. Case in point: Regal Cinemas have unveiled plans to reopen in April, and their parent company Cineworld has just struck a deal with Warner Bros. for 2022 – a sign that Warner Bros.’ 2021 plan to release their films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max will truly come to an end next year.
Will movie theaters rebound after the pandemic? That’s certainly what everyone is hoping for right now. And while a part of me still thinks it’s too soon to be reopening theaters, the folks in charge of theaters disagree. Which means the Cineworld-owned Regal Cinemas are gearing up to reopen theaters starting in April. Regal Cinemas in the United States will reopen on April 2, while the U.K. opening will happen on May 17. The April reopening in the U.S. will make Godzilla vs. Kong the first big blockbuster to head back to the big screen in Regal theaters.
“We have long-awaited this moment when we can welcome audiences back to our Regal theaters and restore our essential role within the communities we serve,” said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger. “With the health and safety of our customers, staff, and communities as our top priority, we continue to take all the necessary precautions and abide by our CinemaSafe guidelines to confidently provide a safe and comfortable experience. With capacity restrictions expanding to 50% or more across most U.S. states, we will be able to operate profitably in our biggest markets. We will also be monitoring developments closely in the U.K. and across Europe as we set to gradually reopen across the world in line with local government guidance.”
Meanwhile, Cineworld has also just struck up a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. As Deadline reports, the deal will “see the No. 2 global exhibitor show the studio’s 2021 theatrical and HBO Max day-and-date titles in the U.S. as of their theatrical release. Then, beginning in 2022, Warner Bros theatrical films will have a 45-day window of theatrical exclusivity at Cineworld’s Regal chain.”
In other words, Warner Bros. is sticking with their HBO Max release strategy for 2021, but once 2022 rolls around, that’s done – their titles will be exclusive to theaters, at least for 45 days. I appear to be in the minority among my colleagues, but I’ve been enjoying the HBO Max strategy and wish it would continue. But I also understand that theaters need that exclusivity to thrive and survive, and there are plenty of people who long for that big screen experience.
Christopher Nolan is one of those big screen lovers, and his latest film Tenet has just been given an extended release in Los Angeles and New York IMAX locations until March 30, per Collider. This decision comes after the film has been selling-out its screenings in recent weeks – which is pretty impressive seeing as the film has been on Blu-ray since December 2020. There might be hope for the theatrical experience yet.
We’re closer than ever to Godzilla vs. Kong, the latest entry in the MonsterVerse that will pit two chonky boys against each other amidst a backdrop of destruction. The marketing for Godzilla vs. Kong has been constant and consistent over the last few weeks, and as we head into the home stretch, here’s yet another trailer!
This is an international trailer that popped-up on Legendary’s Weibo account, and it features a pretty big spoiler, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. So if you’re trying to go into Godzilla vs. Kong unspoiled you probably shouldn’t watch this one.
Still here? Okay, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. For a while now there’s been plenty of speculation that Godzilla vs. Kong would feature Mechagodzilla, a giant robotic version of Godzilla that first appeared in the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Some even claimed that they could spot the giant robot in the first trailer that arrived back in January. Since then, Mechagodzilla has also been glimpsed via toy releases associated with the film. But toys aren’t always confirmation – sometimes, movie tie-in toys will be released that have no bearing on the finished film (Batman toys are notorious for this).
But if there was any lingering doubt, this international trailer puts it to bed, giving us multiple shots of Mechagodzilla in action. We don’t see the giant robot’s entire body in one shot, but it’s still pretty damn clear that the character pops up in the film at some point. Of course, we still don’t know how Mechagodzilla plays into the film. Does Kong put on the giant Mechagodzilla suit to fight Godzilla? No, that probably doesn’t happen – but I can dream.
In Godzilla vs. Kong, “Legends collide as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans instigated by unseen forces is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.”
Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Kaylee Hottie, Elza Gonzalez, and Brian Tyree Henry star in the film, which comes from director Adam Wingard. Godzilla vs. Kong hits theaters and HBO Max on March 31.