The movie theater business may be dealt a huge blow following the recent delay of the James Bond film NO TIME TO DIE. It has been announced that Cineworld may close all Regal Theaters in the U.S. and the U.K. following the James Bond delay.
Cineworld staff have since been informed of the potentiality of shuttering hundreds of theaters very soon, though a final decision hasn’t yet been made. If this closure does indeed happen, it could spell potential disaster for other exhibitors that may eventually find it difficult to keep their doors open since there is very little new content left in 2020 that is expected to hit the big screen. Cineworld had this to say in the following statement about the potential closure:
“We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can.”
Cineworld is the largest cinema chain in the U.K., and Regal is the second largest in the U.S. In the U.K., the company is reportedly writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to address the situation. Because of studios continuing to delay high-profile movies for the foreseeable future, the company says that the exhibition sector is “unviable.” A potential reopening date hasn’t yet been decided upon, but theaters would likely and sadly stay closed until at least 2021.
NO TIME TO DIE experienced delays that went back to April of this year. The film was the first high-profile release to shift its release date due to the global pandemic and it officially landed on a date in November of this year. Rumors began to circulate that NO TIME TO DIE would delay its release again and these rumors were confirmed Friday when the film was officially postponed to April 2, 2021. Because theaters are already struggling to maintain business with so few new movies heading to the big screen this year, NO TIME TO DIE getting pushed back was a big blow to the industry, as theaters were counting on that movie’s release to help themselves stay afloat. As of now, Pixar’s SOUL is still expected to hit screens on November 20, 2020, DUNE is still dated for December 18, 2020, and WONDER WOMAN 1984 is supposed to be gift wrapped on Christmas day. Given all of the delays that have plagued 2020, I wouldn’t be surprised if these films were delayed again which would truly make 2020 a wash at the box office due to this unprecedented pandemic.
Do YOU think other theaters will follow suit in the wake of more film delays?