(CelebrityAccess) — Cineworld Group, the owner North American theater chain of Regal Cinemas, announced plans to temporarily close all Regal locations in the US and the UK, due to COVID-19.
Citing an “increasingly challenging theatrical landscape” Cinemark said it will “suspend all operations at all theaters at the close of business on Thursday, October 8th, until further notice.”
Cineworld owns 536 theaters in the United States and 127 theatres in the UK and is the second largest cinema operator in the world after AMC and the closure will affect more than 50,000 employees.
The decision to close comes after another slow weekend for cinematic box offices with Warner Bros. Tenet earning just $2.7 million and Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” taking in just $1.9 million in North America.
Other movies in the pipeline have had opening dates pushed back following Tenet’s mediocre performance, including, most recently, the latest James Bond film “No Time to Die,” which is now slated to open in the Spring of 2021. The postponements leave little new content to help bring movie fans back to theaters.
The closure of Regal cinemas also raised new questions about Cineworld’s ability to weather the pandemic. After it announced plans to cease operations on Monday, Cineworld’s share price dropped almost 50% before recovering somewhat to end the trading day at $.39.