Cineworld to close US and UK cinemas in response to James Bond delay

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Cineworld is closing its 543 Regal theaters in the US and all theaters in the UK and Ireland this coming week, just days after the James Bond film “No Time to Die” was postponed to April 2021.Variety Sources include that the channel will shut down all sites in both countries as early as this week, with staff notified before Monday. Regal is the second national channel in the United States, while Cineworld is the largest cinema operator in the United Kingdom.

In the UK, Cineworld, which declined to comment, reportedly wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden this weekend to explain that the exhibition business is ‘unsustainable’ due to the delay of the studios due to the anxious direction of the audience. away from cinemas amid the global pandemic. Cineworld shutdowns will put up to 5,500 jobs at risk in UK

Sources say a reopening date has not yet been set, but theaters may remain closed until 2021.

The quick move by the Mooky Greidinger-run channel, whose UK shutdowns were first reported by The Sunday Times, follows Bond’s news of Friday’s bombshell. While there has been speculation that ‘No Time to Die’ may exit its November 12 and 20 slots in the UK and North America, respectively, many players in the industry, including several bosses of world exhibitions, thought he would finally stand firm. His new date of April 2, 2021 came as a painful shock to the exhibition industry, which is deprived of blockbusters vital to bringing audiences back to theaters.

It is believed that Cineworld staff had not yet been made aware of the company’s decision to shut down on Saturday evening UK time.

Cineworld Action Group, an employee collective backed by entertainment union Bectu, tweeted on Saturday that “there has been no consultation with staff. News of the closures first emerged via a preview of the Sunday Times front page, published late Saturday night.

Cineworld’s shock move comes weeks after the company said in its half-year results that there was no certainty about its COVID-19 outlook. In a forward-looking statement, the company said, “If governments were to tighten restrictions on social gatherings, which therefore might force us to shut down our domain again or further delay film releases, it would have a negative impact on our financial performance and will likely require raising additional liquidity. ”

In the UK, Cineworld opened after a four-month shutdown on July 31. The company had planned to open on July 10, but pushed back its dates after “Tenet” was first delayed. In the United States, Regal Cinemas began opening theaters at the end of August, before the release of the thriller Christopher Nolan.

“No Time to Die,” starring Daniel Craig in his final stint as an agent formerly known as 007, hits theaters a year later than originally planned. Universal, the studio behind the high octane franchise, distributes the Bond film internationally.

MGM, Universal and Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today announced the release of ‘No Time To Die’, the 25th film in the James Bond series, will be delayed until April 2 in order to ‘to be seen by a global public actor in theaters,’ the filmmakers said in a statement Friday. “We understand the delay will be disappointing for our fans, but now we can’t wait to share ‘No Time To Die’ next year.”

Many films were mixed up following the lackluster US box office performance of “Tenet” in September. But industry experts have suggested that the ‘No Time to Die’ release date may not be canceled because the Bond franchise relies heavily on international ticket sales – and overseas cinemas have seen a stronger comeback in them. cinemas compared to national cinemas. Still, the decision to postpone the upcoming entry of bonds next year is not entirely surprising given that coronavirus cases in Europe have started to rise again and New York and Los Angeles, the two largest American markets, remain closed.

The delay is another big blow for theaters. Without “No Time to Die,” Pixar’s “Soul” on November 20 is the next big movie slated for theatrical release. However, there are rumors that Disney will move the animated adventure and maybe even put it on Disney Plus, the studio’s subscription streaming service. Two Warner Bros. titles, “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Dune,” are still slated for December, though there’s a chance they could be postponed again.



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