Regal Movies announced they will be shutting down all of their theaters beginning on October 8, 2020.
Regal Movies announced the shut down in a statement posted to their Twitter account earlier today.
The announcement begins, “In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures, Regal will suspend operations at all theatres at close of business on Thursday, October 8, 2020 until further notice.”
The announcement comes after Cineworld Cinemas, Regal’s parent company, confirmed the company was considering closing their U.S. and U.K. theaters.
On Twitter they wrote, “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 would come to a decision later in the day on October 4th by issuing a statement to The Hollywood Reporter explaining why they were shutting down their theaters.
They stated, “As major US. markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films.”
“In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the US and the UK – the company’s primary markets – with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of COVID-19,” the statement continued.
CEO Mookey Greidinger added, “This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry.”
“We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was, Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen,” he added.
According to THR this move will impact 536 Regal cinemas in the United States and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K. It will also reportedly affect 45,000 employees.
The decision to shut down their theaters comes just days after MGM, Universal, and James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, would be delayed until April 2, 2021.
It also comes after Disney and Marvel Studios decided to push their entire film slate to 2021.
Marvel Studios pushed Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to May 7, 2021. They moved Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to July 9, 2021, and The Eternals to to November 5, 2021.
Warner Bros. also recently pushed Wonder Woman 1984 to December 25, 2020. Godzilla vs Kong was also delayed to May 21, 2021.
Maybe more importantly, the decision comes after Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has only earned $45.1 million at the domestic box office. The film has earned $307.1 million total.
In fact, according to The-Numbers for the week ending October 2nd, the domestic gross at the box office was only $8.7 million with Tenet bringing in the lionshare with a $2.7 million gross and a rerelease of Hocus Pocus bringing in $1.9 million. New Mutants was the only other film with a seven figure gross with an even $1 million.
For comparison the week ending October 3, 2019 grossed $127.5 million with Abominable being the top earning with $25.8 million. However, the next week would go to $215 million with the release of Joker bringing in $137.7 million.
What do you make of Regal’s decision to shut down their theaters?