Regal Cinemas Suspending All Theatrical Operations on October 8 Due to ‘Challenging Landscape’

by Matthew Wilson
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After re-opening in August, Regal Cinemas is once again closing its doors. The theater chain announced it is closing all of its locations nationwide starting Oct. 8.

Regal Cinemas is the second largest cinema chain with over 500 locations. The chain announced the closing via Twitter. They wrote, “In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures, Regal will suspend operations at all theatres at close of business.”

Regal Cinemas suspended operations after several films delayed

Regal’s parent company Cineworld Group decided to close the chain after Hollywood postponed several big-budget blockbusters to next year. Marvel’s Black Widow and the latest James Bond No Time to Die were among the films now releasing next year.

“We are like a grocery shop that doesn’t have vegetables, fruit, meat,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger told Wall Street Journal. “We cannot operate for a long time without a product.”

In addition, the parent company is closing its operations in the United Kingdom as well. The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the theater industry, among others, this year. Most U.S. cinemas, Regal included, closed in March and only reopened in August. Certain markets like New York and Los Angeles remained closed.

Some Hollywood studios skipped theaters altogether for streaming services. For instance, Walt Disney Co. released Mulan on Disney Plus for $30. Meanwhile, Universal Pictures made Trolls World Tour available digitally for $20.

Many hoped Christopher Nolan’s film Tenet would resurrect the theater industry. But Warner Bros. delayed the film multiple times. Off a $200 million budget, Tenet only grossed $45.1 million in U.S. and Canada. As a result, many studios shifted their films’ release dates to next year.

“If the status quo continues, 69% of small and midsize movie theater companies will be forced to file for bankruptcy or to close permanently,” the National Association of Theatre Owners said.

[H/T: Wall Street Journal]

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