After the sobering news that MGM and EON have pushed back actor Daniel Craig’s hotly anticipated No Time to Die to April, 2021, Cineworld, the UK’s largest theater chain and parent of the United States Regal Cinemas, has announced that Regal will be closing indefinitely.
According to Variety, the company’s theaters in The UK, Ireland and The U.S. will close as soon as this week, though staff in the UK – over 5,500 of them – only learned of the news via the news.
According to the report, Cineworld is reaching out to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to explain why the exhibition sector is now “unviable” due to a lack of new releases and the fact that customers are avoiding cinemas due to safety concerns caused by on the ongoing pandemic.
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A reopening date hasn’t been set yet, but it’s likely these theaters will remain closed until next year. This of course is terrible news for Warner Bros. who have the last two big films of the year scheduled for December. With a major chain like Regal closed, it is very likely Dune and Wonder Woman 1984 will be delayed again.
Other chains such as AMC and Cinemark will most likely follow suit. It will also be interesting to see how these closures affect the way studios release tentpoles in future, as it’s clear something might have to change.