The world’s second largest cinema chain is feeling the effects of the pandemic with reported bankruptcy in the works for Regal owner Cineworld.
Regal Cinemas would seek to file for bankruptcy under parent company Cineworld. It’s no secret that movie theaters have struggled to retain audiences since the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close. With many studios opting to deliver their content to streaming platforms instead of theatrical release, opportunities for theaters to recover from the financial difficulties of the pandemic have been limited. While some versions, such as Top Gun: Maverick broke box office recordsthis has mostly been the exception to the rule for theaters, and now they are feeling the effects.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Cineworld Group Plc, owner of Cineworld, the world’s second largest cinema chain, will file for bankruptcy. Despite a modest upturn in footfall, that apparently wasn’t enough to keep the business afloat. Cineworld is reported to have used Kirkland & Ellis LLP and AlixPartners consultants as part of the bankruptcy process. Cineworld currently operates 751 locations around the world containing over 9,000 screens.
Cineworld’s biggest competitor, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., has also seen a dramatic drop in attendance and ticket sales since the pandemic. However, the group spent $25 million on an advertising campaign with actress Nicole Kidman in order to attract the audience. The deal was a huge success for the company, with Kidman’s ads quickly becoming a pop culture sensation with internet parodies, memes and more, causing a social media frenzy. A similar approach could be a smart move for Cineworld as they attempt to get back into the game, though AMC has already confirmed Kidman for another year as spokesperson, due to high demand. While there is no official word on whether Cineworld will permanently close its properties, I hope the bankruptcy process goes smoothly and results in a future for Regal Cinemas.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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