As we've covered over the last months, thanks to the inability to show movies and the inability for new movies (like Tenet) to break out, theaters are in a terrible position. Now, without an end in sight, the companies that own theaters across the world are forced to make some very hard decisions.
According to Variety, Cineworld could shutter 543 of its Regal Cinema venues in the U.S. and all cinemas across the U.K. and Ireland this coming week. Closures of these kinds put tens of thousands of jobs at risk in the USA and UK.
Theaters were holding onto the hope that the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die, would bring in audiences and cash flow, but when that movie pushed into next year they understood the bigger picture: Studios can afford not to exhibit their biggest titles. Theaters cannot afford not to show movies.
Cineworld said in a statement, “If governments were to strengthen restrictions on social gathering, which may therefore oblige us to close our estate again or further push back movie releases, it would have a negative impact on our financial performance and likely require the need to raise additional liquidity.”
With Soul, Wonder Woman 1984, and Dune set to hit theaters in December, there's still some hope these places will not shut down. But let's be realistic... would these studios really be releasing such important films to theaters when audiences won't come?
Most large theater groups were certain Bond would hold fast, but it was yanked away almost without any notice.
These are hard times.