CinemaCon has announced its 2021 festival for distributors and exhibitors will gather in August instead of the traditional date in the spring.
CinemaCon 2021 will now take place Aug. 23-26 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas after originally being scheduled for April 26. The change is due to uncertainty about international travel considerations and restrictions on large gatherings.
“With all the travel, logistical, and capacity concerns for the convention, our 7,500 attendees, vendors, and studio distribution partners, we couldn’t guarantee we could present the kind of show the industry expects in April,” the festival’s managing director Mitch Neuhauser said in a statement. “In close consultation with our studio and industry partners, we are rescheduling CinemaCon for August, when we think we can put on the kind of showcase we do best, and celebrate the moviegoing experience with the entire industry.”
The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) says in the announcement that the exhibition industry remains fully committed to reopening the industry, but with movie studios in many cases still working from home and release dates still changing, vendors need some certainty before attending.
This year’s CinemaCon was canceled in the wake of theater closures and restrictions on large gatherings at the start of the pandemic outbreak in the U.S. CinemaCon generally attracts over 7,500 movie professionals from both exhibition and distribution sides as Hollywood presents their upcoming slate of films.
As more and more studio movies vacate 2020 — including Disney most recently pushing “Death on the Nile” and “Free Guy” out of their December releases to unspecified dates — many studios have largely given up on the remainder of the 2020 box office, though a handful of titles are still opening in theaters in the remainder of the year. Many theaters around the country remain open, but not those in major markets such as New York and Los Angeles.