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Moviegoers Tentatively Return To Theaters

Movie theater popcorn (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Multiplexes in American’s biggest cities, including New York and L.A., are still closed, and major studio films are still waiting to be released. But movie fans have recently started trickling back to the box office this weekend.

In some areas of the country, audiences returned to theaters — where facemasks are mandatory — to see the new movie, Unhinged.

The title of the Russell Crowe thriller might also describe the status of theater owners, who have lost billions after shutting their doors for the past five months.

While Unhinged only grossed an estimated $4 million in its American debut, its release signaled the return of moviegoing on a national basis.

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As Unhinged premiered, the National Association of Theater Owners announced an industry-wide initiative called CinemaSafe, touting new seating and ventilation setups. But many industry experts believe the key test for Hollywood will come Labor Day weekend, when Christopher Nolan’s big-budget Tenet arrives.