Regal Cinemas is set to re-close all theaters in the United States, and Cineworld theaters in the UK, following the delay of No Time To Die. Movie theaters around the world were suddenly shut down in March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This saw many movies be delayed until later in 2020 or until 2021 with the expectation that theaters would be open again as soon as the summer. It took longer than expected, but movie theaters around the world were largely open by August so they could be ready for the release of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.
In the weeks since Tenet hit theaters, the movie has performed well considering the circumstances overseas, but the domestic box office has been much lower. Warner Bros. and other movie studios have responded by delaying the release dates for more blockbusters, and for the second time in some cases. WB moved Wonder Woman 1984 to December and Disney pushed Black Widow all the way to 2021. The latest move saw No Time To Die be delayed again, with it now set to arrive five months later in April 2021. Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie was the next big tentpole theaters were counting on to keep doors open, but the delay means the opposite is happening.
According to Variety, all Regal Cinemas, which is the second-biggest chain domestically, will be re-closed following No Time To Die‘s delay. Regal’s parent company Cineworld, the largest theater chain in the U.K., will also close down all locations in the U.K. and Ireland. Variety reports that the plan to re-close theaters will begin to go into effect as soon as this week. The closing of Cineworld’s theaters will put over 5,000 jobs at risk. There is currently no scheduled date to reopen Regal or Cineworld theaters, but the report notes that they could stay closed until 2021.
Given Regal and Cineworld’s large presence in the movie theater industry, their decision to close all theaters after No Time To Die‘s delay is huge news. While there still are some movies scheduled for later in the year, the company clearly has the mindset that they cannot stay open for almost two months waiting for a new James Bond flick. That decision shouldn’t come as a surprise either, as the slow roll of Tenet, re-releases of old movies, and the few other smaller new movies hitting theaters aren’t enough to keep the lights on. Now, all eyes could be on AMC to see if they follow suit, and they likely will.
With Regal now closing its doors for the foreseeable future, No Time To Die shouldn’t be the last fall 2020 movie to be delayed. Everything from Blumhouse’s body-swapping thriller Freaky, Pixar’s Soul, DreamWorks’ The Croods 2: A New Age, Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune reboot, Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, and the frequently delayed Wonder Woman 1984 could be bumped to 2021. Some of these titles could avoid another delay if Regal opens doors by the end of the year, but movie fans should be bracing for even more movie delays at this point.
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