Bond was the last straw: Regal and Cineworld will reportedly close all theaters in US and UK next week

Photo by Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

Cineworld, owner of the largest chain of theaters in the UK and Ireland and the second-largest in the United States — Regal Cinemas — will reportedly close all its theaters next week, according to Variety, The Sunday Times, and others.

Variety reports that all 543 theaters in the US will be closed, which account for the chain’s 7,000+ screens in the region. The Sunday Times reports that it will close all 128 theaters in the UK and Ireland, too.

Both say James Bond is the reason.

Yesterday, the 25th James Bond film — No Time to Die — was pushed back to April 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, denying theaters one of the last major tentpole releases due out this year. Apparently, theaters were counting on Bond, specifically, to arrive on time and help bail them out of poor ticket sales.

In a statement, Cineworld did not confirm that it would close its theaters, though did say it is “considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas.” However, “a final decision has not yet been reached,” Cineworld said.

The news of a possible closure came as a shock to Cineworld’s employees, whose action group stated on Twitter that “there has been no consultation with staff whatsoever,” and that they learned from The Sunday Times that their 5,500-some jobs were in jeopardy.

Cineworld in particular reported a loss of $1.6 billion in the first half of 2020. AMC, the largest US theater chain, has experienced dire results due to the pandemic as well.

Disney/Pixar’s Soul is still slated for theaters in November, and both Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune were expected in December, but it seems even more likely that they’d be delayed if these theaters are closed. At this point, we’re beyond mere caution: the dominoes are falling.

Regal didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Deadline reports the chain has been radio silent.

Update October 4th, 11:43AM ET: Added statement from Cineworld.

Update October 5th, 11:36 AM ET: Regal and Cineworld have now confirmed they are closing all theaters.

Comments

Just like malls. Not surprised.

Have you been to a mall lately? They’re packed to the brim in the states.

Not here in Texas they’re not. More shuttered stores than ever.

In Texas too. It’s packed. Actually, everything around me is packed.

Get out of that packing plant already man

Where I am in New Jersey the malls are more packed than they’ve ever been even with many of the stores closed.

Where? In 2017 Credit Suisse predicted 25% of malls would close by 2022. Less stores less shoppers. Then the pandemic and we have seen more retailers declared bankruptcy. It seems your either in denial or living in an alternative reality.

Here in Philadelphia they just reopened the mall newly remodeled and it’s constantly packed

I never thought I’d miss malls until we got the dreadful pairing of Amazon and FedEx. Now I can just get everything delivered without even needing to put on pants. Yay.

Next up, some gig worker can pour sweet food sludge down my gullet so I don’t need to lift a damned finger. I can just look at my phone to tip him and he can see himself out.

For the sake of your delivery person, please put on pants…

I’m confused, do you miss malls or not

And bookstores.

The biggest thing that will bring people back into the theaters is the confidence that they will not be infected.

Until that time, the best way forward for at least US movie chains is to take Warren on the offer: Ban Stockbuy backs for a bailout.

I mean I’ve been three times and frankly, with assigned seating they are the safest environment you could have. There is little reason to have to be in close proximity to anyone not in your party. You can choose not to take advantage of concessions if you’re concerned about that. To be fair, I am not worried about catching the virus personally but I just feel like if you are this is one of the safest things you can do.

this is one of the safest things you can do.

Except no.

Great, informative response. Care to explain what is so unsafe about a theater?

A small, enclosed space is not good. It’s pretty much the first thing we knew about this back in Feb/March. It’s definitely higher risk than taking a walk in the park and a hundred+ other outdoor activities.

Small? How is a large, tall room with a capacity of 400+ people (during normal operations) a small space?

Okay but have you seen how large outside is?

You should lock yourself in your house and stay there until 2022.
Safest thing ever!
And you know it’s true, but does that make me right? Of course not.
You know what I’m trying to say…

Sounds like the problem is on your side!
It’s only an ‘issue’ if you think you need to go to the cinema or drink alcohol in a crowded room.

Just because object B may be bigger does not make object A small.

You’re assuming people, and companies, are properly doing their jobs. Retail outlets are keeping infected employees in their stores and not deep cleaning. People aren’t wearing masks in the back rooms and customers throw tantrums when they are asked to wear theirs. People are acting childish and have stated slacking. Companies are more concerned about making their bottom dollar than protecting employees or customers. States are already experiencing second spikes worse than their first. Nobody wants to sit in that for 2 hours hoping that people keep their masks on and the employees properly sanitized everything all just to watch a movie that was released 2 years ago.

and not deep cleaning

DEEP CLEANING IS A MARKETING PHRASE
DEEP CLEANING IS A MARKETING PHRASE
DEEP CLEANING IS A MARKETING PHRASE

The virus is in people.

Companies are more concerned about making their bottom dollar than protecting employees or customers.

I’m not sure what anti-corporate rhetoric you’re being fed but companies bottom dollar includes protecting employees and customers so maybe stop attacking "companies" in general. If you have some anecdotal evidence of sick employees working without masks somewhere, maybe report that to the news but your blanket statements are really just attacks on businesses without evidence and businesses are how people pay for the food they eat not to mention how they pay for healthcare so instead of making statements without evidence just say, "I’m afraid of coronavirus so I’m not going to go but if y’all aren’t then go for it."

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