One of the biggest movie theater chains is in trouble

By Dan Lawrence | published

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the post-pandemic resurgence of blockbusters means all cinema chains have steered clear of covid. However, despite blockbuster movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick filling theaters, one of the biggest theater chains is struggling. Deadline writes that the second largest cinema chain in the world, Cineworld, owner of Regal Cinemas, is declaring bankruptcy.

Deadline obtained a report from The Wall Street Journal confirming Cineworld/Regal’s bankruptcy, and the London-based company is said to have held talks with law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP and consultants AlixPartners to discuss the best way to proceed. Considering that moviegoers seem to be returning to theaters in good numbers, thanks to the return of franchise blockbusters to the big screen, the news that a chain as big as Cineworld is in such dire straits shows that the world of cinema is still running. road to recovery

The plan for Regal’s owner, Cineworld, to file for bankruptcy is because admission rates are not as high as the company had hoped after reopening last spring. “Despite a gradual recovery in demand since reopening in April 2021, recent intake levels have been below expectations,” the company said. “These lower levels of admissions are due to a limited slate of films which is expected to continue until November 2022 and which is expected to adversely affect the trading and liquidity position of the group in the short term.” In short, despite massive hits like Top Gun: Maverick i Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, showing the aforementioned signs of a resurgence of blockbusters, there still aren’t enough films to pull in audiences. These films show that the audience’s appetite for cinema is still strong, there just isn’t enough content for them to consume in theaters, in part. due to the delay in filming caused by the covid pandemic. Meanwhile, streaming services, while not without issues like Netflix’s declining subscriber numbers, continue to release a consistent slate of content.

Cineworld has a whopping 751 cinemas in 10 countries, including Regal Cinemas. Regal operates in 42 US states along with American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam and Saipan and the Cineworld subsidiary has over 6,000 screens in 505 theaters, contributing massively to Cineworld’s global operations. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Cineworld Group’s net debt stood at an alarming $5 billion last July, and the bankruptcy filing by Regal owner Cineworld shows that the chain has yet to fully recover. The most distressing consequence of this action will be the threat it poses to the livelihoods of the countless employees who help operate the theater chain’s locations around the world.

Following the distressing news that Regal’s owners, Cineworld, are filing for bankruptcy, CNBC reports that the company’s share price has dropped 60%. The fallout from this news and how it will affect rival chains remains to be seen, and hopefully rival theaters will survive the rest of the tight 2022 release schedule to thrive from fuller schedules in 2023 and beyond. At the end of the day, as much as streaming has taken a massive place in the movie landscape, theaters are still the backbone of the movie industry. Theaters support an immeasurable amount of employees not only in theater chains, but also in film studios. Without theaters, film companies would also go under. Hopefully something can be worked out to save Regal.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.