The Empire Really Does Strike Back
Starting in June, Regal Cinemas brought back classic films to theaters around the world. Films like Rocky, Jurassic Park, and Beetlejuice, among others. But one particular fan favorite is predicted to bring in a weekend take between a “high $400k and a low $500k.” This is the first time The Empire Strikes Back has been in theaters since its 1997 reissue and it’s dominating the box offices. This July reissue brings the film’s lifetime gross to “$290.4M” in the US.
The Empire Strikes Back first released in 1980 following 1977’s Star Wars (later titled A New Hope); it held the number one spot at the box office for eight weeks. The 1997 re-release contributed $67.6M to Empire Strikes Back‘s running box-office tally.
“Are Theaters Really Safe?”
This reissuing of classic favorites comes on the back of AMC Theaters’ almost-bankruptcy in this time of pandemic. It seems that Regal Cinemas are opening at half-capacity to avoid the same fate. According to Variety, “Regal plans to practice other safety precautions, such as contactless payment and increased cleaning between screenings. Both employees and customers will be required to wear face masks. Vending machines, drinking fountains, self-service condiment stands, in-theatre dining and other restaurants will not be in operation”. Regal Cinemas are clearly taking precautions to give their patrons the best, safest experience possible.
Independent theater owner Rick Roman spoke to Deadline with an interesting take, stating, “Theaters are one of the safest things to do now for getting out of the house. A moviegoer typically spends about 5 to 7 minutes getting their tickets and concessions, then go to their socially distanced seat to watch a two-hour movie. There is no talking, no servers and bus boys walking around you.” He continued, saying, “The people in the country have this itch to get out of the house. The states should be encouraging the theaters to get open because we are the safest thing out there to scratch the itch. Maybe if the itch got scratched there be less people going out breaking the social distance rules.” [sic]
It makes one wonder: are theaters really safe? Will open movie theaters convince people that it’s safe to go to a bar when it’s really not? What does the future of movies look like during and after the pandemic? Is opening movie theaters really the solution to all those social distance rule-breakers? We want to know what you think about movies, the pandemic, how they relate, and the future of entertainment.