Movie fans are rejoicing as the date that cinemas reopen has arrived.
Since March 2020, cinemas around the world have repeatedly been forced to close their doors to business since the announcement of the first lockdown.
This threw the film industry into disarray, with major studios forced to rethink release strategies for some of its most costly and awards-friendly films.
Today (17 May), and throughout next week, chains as well as smaller independent cinemas in England, Scotland and Wales will be reopening their doors, meaning you’ll be able to see a film on the actual big screen once again
Cinemas in Northern Ireland will reopen a week later, on 24 May.
When these cinemas do reopen, it won’t be business as usual.
Odeon has said that ticket sales will be limited to allow for social distancing while cash will not be accepted at box offices. Show start times will also be staggered to try to reduce queues.
The UK Cinema Association published a document last year containing guidance on how best to reopen venues during the pandemic, titled Cinemas: Keeping Workers and Customers Safe during COVID-19.
Below is a full list of films set to be released this week – and the order in which you should see them.
1. Sound of Metal
If you watched this drama, following Riz Ahmed’s drummer who suddenly loses his hearing, on Amazon Prime Video, then it’s likely you already have a cinema trip planned. Darius Marder’s drama uses the medium of sound to create an immersive, powerful experience that will somehow hit harder in a cinema.
Chloé Zhao has been making wonderful films since 2015’s Songs My Brother Taught Me, which can be currently viewed on Mubi. She followed up the equally as wonderful The Rider (2017) with Nomadland – and received a handful of Oscars for her efforts. Despite being released on Disney Plus last month, the film absolutely lends itself to being watched in a cinema.
Yuh-Jung Youn won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Minari, which is just one of the many reasons why you should see Lee Isaac Chung’d tender drama on a big screen. The rural sun-soaked Arkansas location will undoubtedly dazzle brighter than it ever could on a television set.
4. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
A new Saw film starring Chris Rock that also features a cameo from Samuel L Jackson – need we say more?
5. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway / Maya The Bee 3: The Golden Orb
These are placed here squarely because parents have earned a cinema trip with their children after being cooped up indoors for so long. Shout out to Peter Rabbit 2 that has somehow become a fairly anticipated film having been the longest delayed film on this list. It’ll probably perform better than it would have done if it had been released before the pandemic...
6. Those Who Wish Me Dead
Angelina Jolie has been focusing on her directing career for the past few years, but this neo-Western drama marks the first major role in a studio release that isn’t a Maleficent film (she’ll head up the delayed Marvel film Eternals later this year). In Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, she plays a wildland firefighter who must attempt to stop a deadly blaze from consuming the town she lives in. Early reviews haven’t been so kind.
7. The Courier
Forgive us for being judgemental, but a 1960s-set espionage drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t sound like the most thrilling film to choose upon your return to the cinema. It’s exactly the kind of film you’d expect to see on Amazon Prime Video. Still, it also stars the ever impressive Jessie Buckley, so it has that going for it.
Below is a list of the other films being released over the coming month.
The Human Factor
My New York Year
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Earwig and the Witch
Felix and the Hidden Treasure
A Quiet Place Part II
In the Earth
In the Heights
It Must Be Heaven
The Reason I Jump
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
The Filmmaker’s House
Wrath of Man