Cineworld to shut down all cinemas after James Bond delay

Cineworld is set to shut all of its screens again after the delay of the upcoming Bond film.

The move puts up to 5,500 jobs at risk across the UK, as its 128 theatres could shut after becoming “unviable” to stay open due to the delay of a major James Bond blockbuster release ‘No Time To Die’.

Reports from The Times says that Cineworld will write to Boris Johnson and culture secretary and Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden, to say that the film delay is putting the cinema operator at financial risk.

Earlier in September, Cineworld warned that further global coronavirus restrictions or film delays may force it to raise further cash as it revealed half-year losses of £1.3 billion.

Since the reopening of some indoor cinemas from July 31, cinemas had to screen many classic titles or other productions which were simultaneously released on streaming services like HBO Max.

Many big productions that were due to release during the pandemic were delayed, while other anticipated flicks such as Disney’s Mulan streamed exclusively on Disney+ for a fee.

But August 26 marked the cinematic release of the first new blockbuster film since the Covid-19 lockdown, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

At the time, Cineworld were hopeful to encourage people to be confident and visit the big screen once more – and we even took a look to see how much the blockbuster experience has changed since the pandemic.

Screens were a lot emptier when we went to visit (Photo: Joseph Reaidi)

Those in the film industry hoped that the latest Bond flick would have been the catalyst to truly bring people back to the screens and bring life to the struggling sector, after Tenet failed to bring in its typical blockbuster crowds.

But it was announced the film was moved from its November 12 slot to April next year.

The move to shut cinemas will mean staff will be asked to accept redundancy and cinemas could stay closed until 2021.

Cineworld Action Group, a group of employees supported by entertainment union Bectu, tweeted there was “no consultation with staff”.

There are fears that other upcoming films are also at risk of being delayed, including Pixar’s ‘Soul’ and the upcoming ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ sequel.

If that were to be the case, cinemas would be forced to mainly continue replaying older titles due to the lack of new films being released.

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