COVID-19 has once again caused damage to the entertainment industry – this time, its victim is the British cinema company, Cineworld.
The world’s second-largest theatre chain was already suffering through the Pandemic, reporting a loss of $1.6 billion during the first half of 2020. However, as reported in Variety, the further delay of the newest James Bond, No Time to Die, has put the nail in the coffin. Cineworld and Regal Theaters are set to close all across the UK and USA.
Yesterday, No Time to Die was pushed back to April 2021 and seemed to be Cineworld’s last hope. But the delay has got the company to admit that the exhibition sector is “unviable”. The company is writing a letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to explain this startling fact, given that studios are constantly postponing their big releases due to COVID-19.
In total, 543 Cineworld-owned Regal Cinema venues will shut across the United States alone, alongside all 128 cinemas in the UK and Ireland.
The closures have come as complete shock to the chain’s employees. On Twitter, the Cineworld Action Group tweeted: “The front page of tomorrow’s Times is announcing that Cineworld is planning to close all of its cinemas across the country as soon as this week putting all of our jobs at immediate risk. There has been no consultation with staff whatsoever.”
There’s no telling as to when (or if) these venues will start opening up again.
No Time to Die was initially postponed for release until November 12, 2020 in the UK and November 25, 2020 in the US after “thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace”. However, this initial postponement was mainly to match the traditional release windows of past Bond film releases and not a direct response to COVID. However, the recent postponement to 2 April, 2020 was so it could “be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience”.
However, if things progress as they have been, there may be far less venues for filmgoers to watch Bond in.
Are you bummed about the No Time to Die postponement? Have you been affected by the Cineworld closures? Let us know in the comments below.