Monday Movie Report: Theater owners seek legislative assistance as movies go online

With thousands of screening auditoriums remaining dark throughout the country, theaters in the United States are hoping for some relief via a bill in Congress.

According to Deadline, the National Association of Theatre Owners has requested a set of measures to be included in a stimulus package. The legislation is currently in a negotiation phase.

Deadline reports NATO is looking to acquire “guarantees to ease a liquidity squeeze, tax benefits to support employees, recovery of remaining costs and other tax breaks to help recoup losses.

In a statement shared by Deadline, NATO said “the business model of the movie theater industry is uniquely vulnerable in the present crisis. As we confront this evolving and unprecedented period, we call on Congress and the administration to ensure that America’s movie theater industry and its tens of thousands of employees across the country can remain resilient.”

NATO has also approved $1 million be provided to movie theater employees from its reserve to help theater employees who’re now out of work, according to Deadline. Nearly 150,000 are employed at theaters across the country.

Along with cinemas, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is also working to get worker relief from Congress.

With the closing of theaters, some studios are pushing their content to digital release earlier than anticipated. For example, Sony Pictures, according to Variety, is pushing “Bad Boys For Life,” the third movie in the trilogy, to video on demand starting March 31.

“Bad Boys” will join other early releases, such as Pixar’s animated movie “Onward,” the comic book flick “Birds of Prey,” as well as thrillers such as “The Hunt” and “The Invisible Man.” Another movie coming to digital, thanks to Universal Pictures and Focus Features, is “Emma,” a film based on a Jane Austen novel.

Variety reports that Autumn de Wilde, who directed the picture, said “I’m not thinking in terms of like, ‘oh my movie got interrupted.’ I’m thinking this is amazing! If I could even help those people with something I’ve made, that feels wonderful.’ I think that we all want theaters to survive this, too — really badly. And I’m committed to that. But right now, we can’t do anything about that, unfortunately.”

While theaters are closed, movies are still available to watch at home. Here are the latest films coming to watch on the small screen.

  • 1917, my rating: 4.75 out of 5 (2019 Top 10), Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 4.59 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 89%, MetaCritic rating: 78, LetterBoxD rating: 4.1 out of 5.
  • The Grudge, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 1.67 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 20%, MetaCritic rating: 41, LetterBoxD rating: 1.6 out of 5.
  • The Song of Names, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 40%, MetaCritic rating: 51, LetterBoxD rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Clemency, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%, MetaCritic rating: 77, LetterBoxD rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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