On Monday morning, Cineworld announced that all of its locations in the U.K., as well as every Regal Cinemas location in the U.S., would be closing its doors once again. Theater chains reopened at the end of August, after spending months shuttered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, however, Tenet didn't bring people back to theaters as advertised, and chains are losing money in a big way. At this time, the next major film on deck is Wonder Woman 1984, which is currently scheduled for a Christmas release.
Could theaters reopen if Wonder Woman 1984 stays the course and doesn't get delayed again? Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger spoke with Deadline and said that the company's locations could open for Wonder Woman, but it would take more than just one movie to make things work.
"For sure, but we need to have a clear lineup of movies after that," Greidinger said. "It cannot be one movie only. It needs to be a situation that the studios are saying, 'It is safe enough to go back and this is our release schedule.' The COVID situation needs to stabilize and we need to have a clear schedule of movies ahead."
If things change significantly by Christmas, Wonder Woman 1984 could signal the return of theaters on a permanent basis. With two months to go, however, there is still a lot of work to do in order to make that happen.
While quite a few movies had already moved online or to next year. there were still a few options for theaters in the fall. That changed with the departure of No Time to Die. That decision was the straw that broke the camel's back for Cineworld.
"As you know, the cost of running the cinemas without movies is very high, but we said internally that we would hold for the coming six weeks (until Bond) and keep the business open for our customers and for our employees," added Greidinger. "But when the Bond decision arrived, a decision that followed numerous delays of other movies, we had to change the direction, close the cinemas and wait for a situation where the studios will be able to present a solid release schedule. The main thing blocking the studios is that they don’t see movement in New York — and in some other places — but New York is kind of the symbol. Even California is already 50% open."
Do you think Wonder Woman 1984 will keep its December release? Let us know in the comments!