Cineworld to close all cinemas following delay of No Time To Die
Cineworld are to close all cinemas in the UK and US following the decision by MGM and Universal to delay the latest James Bond film until April 2021. The closure will see 128 cinemas in the UK being mothballed alongside over 500 further cinema shutdowns in the US. The move will put 5,500 jobs in the UK at risk with employees being told they'll have jobs to return to if and when the chain re-opens their doors.
It's is not hard however to envisage a future right now that will see the closure of all major UK cinemas long-term if support from the Government isn't forthcoming very soon.
No Time To Die was delayed in a move that many didn't see coming - while the delay itself isn't surprising, many were working on promoting the film right up until the last minute with no knowledge of the impending release date change. Publicists were arranging interviews the AFTERNOON of the delay and the Billie Eilish title track video was released only hours before despite being held back following the previous delay.
MGM are now taking a lot of flack - their decision to delay has been cited as a direct cause of the Cineworld closures with cinemas being unable to justify remaining open with one of the biggest remaining releases being removed from the calendar. There is little doubt now that the remaining two major releases - Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune - are now extremely unlikely to see a 2020 release date.
We fully expect other cinema chains to follow Cineworld's lead in the next few weeks - there's very little hope for the future of UK cinema venues right now with sky-high costs of maintaining closed sites and as with the theatre industry the Government have yet to announce any plans to support the struggling market while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to exist.
Experiments with VOD releases of films have been largely unsuccessful with the likes of The Invisible Man and Mulan coming to streaming platforms at a premium cost. These VOD releases haven't made up for the shortfall of not having theatrical showings. It's hard to see how the international film industry will cope with the ongoing situation without a significant change to how films are made available to the public.
Delays in theatrical releases means that there has been a dearth of new films released on home formats this year too with catalogue rereleases of films supporting the ailing physical DVD and Blu-ray formats. While streaming platforms are reporting a boon in their subscriber numbers as many people are being restricted to their homes the availability of new material is slowly beginning to dry up.
Films and TV series have started returning to production but new limitations being required to protect those involved from the coronavirus mean that costs and timescales are both being stretched with some productions being forced to shut down for extended periods due to infections amongst the cast and crew.
No Time to Die (2020)
Dir: Cary Joji Fukunaga | Cast: Ana de Armas, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Craig, Rami Malek | Writers: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Ian Fleming (based on characters created by), Neal Purvis, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Robert Wade, Scott Z. Burns