Disney CEO Bob Chapek Downplays Concerns About Movies Being Released In The Midst Of COVID-19

Disney CEO Bob Chapek Downplays Concerns About Movies Being Released In The Midst Of COVID-19

While it appears as if theaters will be slowly re-opening over the coming months, things aren't going to be normal for a very, very long time. However, that doesn't appear to concern Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

While some semblance of normality is being restored in certain parts of the world, it's going to be a very long time before life is anything like it used to be. In the case of movie theaters, they're going to be opened in some places and not others, but if there's a second peak of COVID-19 later this year, their doors could be closed for the foreseeable future. 

There's a lot of uncertainty right now, but new Disney CEO Bob Chapek isn't too concerned about what might happen if theaters re-open with strict social distancing measures in place. In fact, he believes that "pent-up demand" will counter fewer ticket sales caused by emptier screens.

"If you think about the occupancy of a movie theater, Monday through Friday afternoon, you know, 25 percent is about what you'd get," he told CNBC, "It only really becomes an issue on Friday night and Saturday night and, to a lesser extent, on Sunday night. So it really doesn't push the limits of what would typically be seen as occupancy inside movie theaters until you get to those weekend evenings, and in that particular case, I think that can be managed."

"That's really gonna be up to our exhibitors that we partner with," he added, seemingly making it clear that it will be down to theaters to ensure people can safely go to the movies. 

Mulan is set for release in July, while Black Widow is pencilled in for November. Neither movie is likely to earn what it would have had they been released as planned earlier this year, but that's just going to be the new norm for a while, and studios will still make more money from theatrical releases than VOD (even if there is a limited capacity inside theaters). 

What do you guys think?

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