With 778 cinemas worldwide, Cineworld is the second largest movie theater chain in the globe and—unsurprisingly but unfortunately—it's now warning of potentially disastrous repercussions given the effects of COVID-19.
Earlier today, the company announced that—although it currently has enough cash to keep operating even after a 67% decrease in revenue in the first six months of 2020—it will likely need to raise funds by the beginning of 2021, expecting prolonged cinema shutdowns around the world.
"There can be no certainty as to the future impact of COVID-19 on the group," the company said in an official statement.
As of now, 561 Cineworld theaters have reopened. The list of cinemas still closed include 200 in the United States, 11 in Israel and six in the United Kingdom. Government decrees concerning group gatherings and industry openings have had an immediate effect on the company's bottom line. "If governments were to strengthen restrictions on social gathering, which may therefore oblige us to close our estate again or further push back movie releases, it would have a negative impact on our financial performance and likely require the need to raise additional liquidity," reads the statement.
But shutdowns aren't the sole reason for decreased revenues and future uncertainty. As production houses grapple with their side of the business, plenty of Blockbuster movies that were set to hit theaters this past summer and upcoming fall have been postponed—a fact that will have a tremendous impact on Cineworld's target numbers. Just yesterday, Steven Spielberg's much-anticipated take on West Side Story was pushed back almost an entire year while Marvel superhero flick Black Widow, initially scheduled to run starting this November, will now be released in May of 2021. The sub-par box office earnings of Christopher Nolan's Tenet, the first big release of the COVID-19 era, clearly don't help the situation.
To end off on a more hopeful note: new Bond movie No Time to Die is holding onto its planned release dates (November 12 in Europe and Australia and November 20 in the US). Perhaps, 007 might help the Hollywood industry survive another day.