New York (CNN Business)Cineworld Group, the owner of Regal Cinemas, said it is considering temporarily closing its theaters “but a final decision has not yet been reached.”
The news comes just a day after the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” was delayed until spring 2021 — the latest blow to the movie industry.
Regal is the second-largest cinema chain in the United States after AMC (AMC), with more than 500 theaters. A spokersperson for the company said Sunday it would update staff and customers on a decision “as soon as we can.”
News of the possible shutdown came as a surprise to many Cineworld staff. Cinema Action Group, a collective of Cineworld employees in the UK, tweeted on Saturday, “there has been no consultation with staff whatsoever.”
Variety first reported that Cineworld could shutter all of its Regal Cinema venues in the United States, the UK and Ireland this week, citing people familiar with the matter.
After closing for several months during coronavirus lockdowns, Regal in July began reopening most of its 778 theaters world-wide.
Last month, the Regal Cinema owner reported a loss of $1.6 billion in the first half of 2020 as revenue slumped by 67%. It also warned of the need to raise more funds in case a second wave of coronavirus leads to more “prolonged” shutdowns.
More than a dozen major films, including “Black Widow,” “Tenet” and “Wonder Woman 1984,” have either been delayed or skipped theaters altogether and gone digital, as in the case of Disney’s “Mulan.”