Three women use the emergency exit stairs of an AMC movie theater as a makeshift gym during the pandemic. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

With the announcement that movie theaters have officially been given approval to re-open in California, we may finally see some summer releases. But it’s complicated.

First, not every state is at the same stage in reopening businesses and public venues, so there won’t be as much box-office potential with only a portion of the country’s — not to mention the world’s — theaters open. Second, even if theaters reopen, there will be significant changes to their audience capacity, plus new sanitary rules. Finally, the studios probably weren’t expecting so many things to go back to “normal” so quickly after already rescheduling everything for the holiday season or event next year.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet held onto a July release date as long as possible, extending only two weeks, and could be the first big summer movie. It’s a gamble that is turning out to have paid off.

Good luck to Warner Bros. because it must be nerve-wracking having pressure to release its new blockbusters without any possibility there will be a full house at theaters

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 on the other hand, has WB deciding to completely abandon summer and go for an October release date instead. This is a decision I can understand as autumn is usually a better draw for movie viewers than the middle of August, as previously announced for the new WW feature.

One thing I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks with each new announcement of ever-changing release dates is that the delays are getting shorter and shorter. Back in March nearly every spring release was postponed 6-12 months or even indefinitely, but now new release dates are being reported as 1-3 weeks. Such is the case with Derrick Borte’s Unhinged, Ric Roman Waugh’s Greenland, Dean Parisot’s Bill & Ted: Face the Music and Cary Fukunaga’s No Time to Die.

Whatever the results are in the end for the film and theater industries, let’s just hope the rest of the state of the world miraculously falls in line just as quickly.

Megan Bianco is a Southern California-based movie reviewer and content writer with a degree from California State University Northridge.

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