Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld is closing all of the chain’s locations in the U.S. as well as its theaters in the U.K. in the wake of MGM and Universal’s decision to delay the release of “No Time to Die” until next year, according to Variety.
The new closures, set to take effect as soon as next week, come just a few months after the company began reopening its locations amid the coronavirus pandemic earlier this summer. Cineworld operates 128 venues in the U.K. and Ireland in addition to Regal’s 546 theaters in the U.S. consisting of 7,211 screens.
Regal is the second largest theatrical chain in the U.S., after AMC, while Cineworld is the U.K.’s biggest cinema operator. Cineworld reported a loss of a $1. 6 billion in the first half of 2020 in recent days, with “no certainty” as to what impact the pandemic could have in the future.
According to the Sunday Times, which first reported news of the Cineworld U.K. closures, the move puts up to 5,500 jobs at risk in that country alone.
The decision to close its locations comes a day after MGM and Universal announced that the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die” would be pushed back again, with a statement from the filmmakers citing a need for the film “to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience.”
“No Time to Die” was initially set to hit theaters last April, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to Nov. 20, then Nov. 25, and now to next April.
Following Disney’s move to change release dates for many of its films — most notably “Black Widow,” which was set for release on Nov. 6 but was moved to summer 2021 — the loss of “No Time to Die” leaves theaters with a dearth of major releases for the remaining months of 2020.
Last month, Cineworld reported a $1.6 billion loss in the first half of 2020, with group revenues sinking to $712.4 million from $2.15 billion in the first six months of 2019. The company said at the time it had been able to reopen 561 of its 778 locations worldwide.
“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,” the company said.
Read original story Regal Cinemas Parent Cineworld to Close All Theaters in US and UK At TheWrap