- Cineworld has planned a “phased reopening” for its 536 Regal movie theaters across the US.
- Some will reopen on April 2 to screen “Godzilla vs. Kong,” and more will open for “Mortal Kombat.”
- Cineworld said Warner Bros. films will have 45 days of theatrical exclusivity at Regal cinemas.
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Regal is reopening some of its US movie theaters in April to show “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Mortal Kombat,” parent company Cineworld Group announced Tuesday.
Cineworld, which owns more than 500 movie theaters across the US, said it has planned a “phased reopening” for its Regal movie theaters after they closed in October.
Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said that most US states allow movie theaters to operate at at least half-capacity, meaning that the chain “will be able to operate profitably in our biggest markets.”
A limited number of theaters are set to reopen to screen “Godzilla vs. Kong” on April 2, while “Mortal Kombat” will be screened more widely on April 16. Cineworld did not name the locations of these cinemas.
Cineworld also said that from 2022, films that Warner Bros. releases in cinemas would have a 45-day window of theatrical exclusivity at Regal cinemas in the US, with certain provisions.
In December, Warner Bros. shocked the film industry by saying it would release all its 2021 movies on the HBO Max streaming platform the same day they’re released in theaters. Key Hollywood figures have slammed the decision, with “Tenet” director Christopher Nolan calling HBO Max “the worst streaming service,” and some movie theaters may slash ticket prices to as low as $US3 ($4) for Warner Bros. films.
The agreement between Cineworld and Warner Bros. “shows the studio’s commitment to the theatrical business and we see this agreement as an important milestone in our 100-year relationship with Warner Bros,” Greidinger said.
The movie-theater industry has been devastated by the pandemic as cinemas have been forced to close or operate at limited capacity during government-imposed lockdowns, causing some studios to skip cinemas completely and launch films straight to streaming. This has been coupled with delays to major releases, including the upcoming James Bond instalment “No Time To Die,” Marvel’s “Black Widow,” and Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984,” in part due to coronavirus-led restrictions.
Greidinger on Tuesday said that Cineworld would monitor lockdown developments across Europe to gradually reopen theaters following local government guidance. The company said it expects to reopen screens in the UK, its second-biggest market, in May.
The group has movie theaters in 10 countries, but 75% of its business comes from the US.