Not even two months since some movie theaters here in the United States opened after a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and Regal Cinemas may be closing their theaters again. On Friday, October 2, it was announced the 25th installment in the James Bond film series, No Time to Die, which was scheduled to hit theaters in November, has been delayed until April 2, 2021.
We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing NO TIME TO DIE next year.
— James Bond (@007) October 2, 2020
According to CNN, the news of a possible shutdown came as a shock to many employed by Cineworld, owner of Regal Cinemas and Cineworld theaters in the United Kingdom and Ireland. A collective of Cineworld employees in the UK known as Cinema Action Group tweeted Saturday, October 3:
Words cannot express how this feels. Solidarity to all of our colleagues across Cineworld and Picturehouse. 💔
— Cineworld Action Group (@cineactiongroup) October 3, 2020
It wasn’t until Sunday, October 4 that Cineworld released a statement on its Twitter page:
We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can.
— Cineworld (@cineworld) October 4, 2020
As the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States behind AMC, over 150 of the 500+ Regal Cinemas have yet to reopen from the shutdown in March, while some of the theaters that did reopen suspended matinee showings and cut back to one or two screenings of each film.
At the end of September, Cineworld revealed “a loss of $1.6 billion for the first six months of the year as revenues slumped by 67%.” While some films like Disney’s Mulan were released digitally, other films like Black Widow and Wonder Woman 1984 had their release dates pushed back after the poor performance of Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Tenet, which was originally scheduled to release on July 17.