Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Cineworld will officially close all 128 of its cinemas in the UK and Ireland.
The Sunday Times estimates that, as early as this week, the cinema chain could close all of its UK locations, placing up to 5,500 jobs at risk.
The second largest cinema chain in the world, Cineworld Group PLC, has seen its share value plummet. The bosses of the company are reportedly planning to write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of Culture Oliver Dowden to say that the business has become “unviable.”
The change, intended to be a temporary measure until next year, was blamed in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic for the postponement of big-budget movie releases.
Cineworld states that the “temporary closure” of UK and US cinemas due to the pandemic of Covid 19 is being contemplated.
The release of the new “No Time to Die” James Bond film was postponed until April 2021, just weeks before it was expected to reach theaters. Other films will be released directly via the Disney+ streaming service, such as Disney’s “Mulan,” The decision follows a mixed response to the Tenant of Christopher Nolan, which was hoped by many in the industry to draw customers back.
Due to a corona virus, No Time to Die was already pushed back from its initial April release date. It has now been driven back to November 2, 2021.
A statement on the film’s delay read, “MGM, Universal and Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli today announced that the release of NO TIME TO DIE, the 25th film in the James Bond series, will be postponed to April 2, 2021 in order to be available to a worldwide theatrical audience.”
After half-year losses of £ 1.3 billion, Cineworld is warning about its future.
In spite of the reopening, due to the Covid 19 crisis, Cineworld posted a £ 1.3 billion loss for the first half of the year.
The cinema chain, which is the biggest in the United Kingdom, In the six months through June, the second largest in the world behind China’s Wanda Cinemas, reported a pretax loss compared to a profit of £ 110 million a year ago.
561 out of 778 stores worldwide were reopened by the chain as closing limits were relaxed.
Tomorrow’s Times front page reports that this week Cineworld plans to close all of its cinemas around the country, putting all our jobs at immediate risk. No meeting was held with any workers at pic.twitter.com/16fKxGcNnGG
– Action Party of Cineworld (@cineactiongroup) October 3, 2020
The Sunday Times reports that the majority of Cineworld employees will be forced to accept redundancies if it chooses to reopen, with potential incentives to rejoin the company.
“If these reports are true, then Cineworld should be the first to inform its employees who will suffer, not the Sunday papers,” said Philippa Childs of the Bectu union, which represents workers in the cinema industry.
Although cinemas have been open since July and the experience of those who have visited them since then has been overwhelmingly positive, the stark reality is that it is unlikely that occupancy will grow to a level that makes opening financially feasible without new releases.
“The delay in the release of the Bond film, along with the other delayed releases, has thrown the cinema into crisis,”The delay in the release of the Bond film, along with the other delayed releases, has taken the cinema into crisis.
“Studios need to think carefully when setting release dates about the impact this will have on the long-term future of the big screen.”
The head of the UK Cinema Association said he worried that the closing of Cineworld was “indicative of the challenges facing the entire UK cinema industry at the moment.”
Phil Clapp told the Broadcasting House program on BBC Radio 4, “Although the cinemas opened in July and were able to provide a safe and enjoyable experience, we understand that we can not get as many people out as we want without major new titles.”
In July, to support the arts and culture sector, which was forced to close this year because of the pandemic, the government promised a package of more than £ 1.5 billion.
In July, when closure steps were eased across the country, Cineworld reopened most of its cinemas.