Cineworld 'to shut all 128 of its UK and Ireland cinemas'

The last picture show: Cineworld to shut all 128 of its UK and Ireland cinemas after industry became ‘unviable’ following coronavirus cancellations after latest James Bond film is postponed until 2021

  • Cineworld chiefs could announce plans as early as tomorrow, say Sunday Times
  • The paper reports the move to close cinemas could put up to 5,500 jobs at risk
  • It comes after latest James Bond and Fast and Furious released were delayed 

Cineworld could shut all of its 128 UK and Ireland cinemas, putting thousands of jobs at risk, according to reports.

The cinema chain could announce the decision, which would 5,500 jobs at risk, as early as tomorrow, reports The Sunday Times.

It comes as bosses of Cineworld Group PLC, the world’s second-largest cinema chain, are reportedly preparing to write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and culture minister Oliver Dowden to say the industry has become ‘unviable’.

Bosses at Cineworld have blamed the decision of movie studios to postpone big budget films in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, the paper reports.  

This week the release of the new James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ was delayed until April 2021, just weeks before it was about to be released – following the original postponement of its release earlier this year due to coronavirus.

Cineworld could shut all of its 128 UK and Ireland cinemas, putting thousands of jobs at risk, according to reports

Fast & Furious sequel F9 is pushed back AGAIN to May 2021 

The Fast And The Furious series will not be seeing the checkered flag anytime soon.

The release of the highly-anticipated sequel F9 has been delayed again as it is now set for release on May 28, 2021 during Memorial Day weekend it was announced by Universal on Friday.

Back in March it was reported that the film was delayed to April 3 2021 according to The Hollywood Reporter.

However the most recent change was made hours after James Bond film No Time to Die delayed its release from November to April 2, 2021.

Universal is distributing the film internationally.

The Fast and Furious movies are always big earners at the domestic and international box office and the absence of F9 will impact the 2020 box office in a major way. The past two films have made over $1 billion.

Just a month earlier the full trailer had been unveiled.

The clip showed Vin Diesel’s character Dominic Toretto facing off again his brother, Jakob, played by John Cena, with epic car chases and fights across London – and appearances by Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren.

On Friday,  the release of the highly-anticipated Fast and Furious sequel F9 was also delayed again.

It is now set for release on May 28, 2021 during Memorial Day weekend, it was announced by Universal. 

MailOnline has contacted Cineworld Group PLC for a comment.  

Meanwhile, Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, described the reported closure of Cineworld cinemas as a ‘serious blow’.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘The announcement is probably the most serious blow to UK cinema operators of a number of similar announcements over the past few weeks and will undoubtedly cause a significant number of cinemas to close again.’

The UK cinema industry took a profit hit when the country was plunged into lockdown in March following the outbreak of coronavirus.  

Cineworld was due to reopen on July 10, after lockdown measures were eased by the government, allowing the reopening of cinemas from July 4.

But it delayed the reopening of its cinemas in the UK by more than two weeks until July 31 to coincide with ‘recent adjustments to the schedule of upcoming movie releases’.

Social distancing measures were also introduced, including such as one-way systems, perspex screens for staff, mandatory contactless payment and no more pick and mix. 

But blockbuster releases were in short supply throughout summer, with Christopher Nolan’s spy-thriller Tenent set to be one of the highlights.

However industry experts have reportedly been ‘spooked’ by the film’s lacklustre performance on the big screen, causing other major studios to postpone their major releases.

This includes the latest in the James Bond series ‘No Time To Die’, which had been scheduled to debut in theatres on November 11.

The latest film in the James Bond series ‘No Time To Die’, which had been scheduled to debut in theatres on November 11, has now been postponed until April 2021

But it will now be delayed ‘in order for it to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience’, the film’s producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced this week.

A statement on Twitter read: ‘MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today announced the release of NO TIME TO DIE, the 25th film in the James Bond series, will be delayed until 2 April 2021 in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience.

‘We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing NO TIME TO DIE next year.’

The 25th film in the franchise finds Bond after he has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica when his old friend Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, from the CIA turns up asking for help.

Leaving his seemingly happy live with Madeleine, played by actress Lea Seydoux, Bond returns to the field to face Safin who is armed with a new dangerous technology that could impact the world.

The film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, was originally scheduled for release in April 2020, but was pushed back to November in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

No Time To Die, which also stars Rami Malek as villain Safin and Ana de Armas as CIA agent Paloma, will deliver a satisfying ending for Daniel Craig’s Bond, according to producer Barbara Broccoli.

Source: Read Full Article