U.S. and U.K. Theater Chains May Close
James Bond’s most recent mission? Take out movie theaters. The newest Bond film, No Time To Die, had its release date pushed back to next spring, leading theaters to consider cancelling their reopening experiments.
Cineworld announced it might close all its theaters in the UK and Ireland. As the largest chain in the U.K., its decision could lead others to do the same. The company is also the owner of Regal Cinemas, the second largest theater chain in the U.S., and indicated that all of Regal’s theaters could be closing soon as well.
While no final decision has been made by Cineworld, nationwide closings even being a discussion is a bad sign for theater companies. Revenue has been low during reopening’s because of limited capacities and fewer marquee films. Many big-name films, such as Mulan, opted for a digital release while others have opted to delay.
The Bond movie was expected to provide a significant boost for theaters’ reopening plans. The previous instalment pulled in $880 million at the box office, and projections for Daniel Craig’s final performance as the spy were even higher before the pandemic hit. While revenue would come nowhere close to those numbers, a theatrical release still would have brought many people to theaters, and a success may have reversed the narrative about the industry. Investors should keep an eye on a final announcement from Cineworld and Regal, but the current outlook is negative.
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.