THE news that the release of the new James Bond film No Time to Die – almost certainly Daniel Craig’s last appearance as 007 – has been postponed again, this time from November until April 2021 may well have spelled the end for Cineworld which employs 45,000 in the UK and USA.
There seems to be a complete dearth of blockbuster movies being released, in many cases because so many were postponed due to coronavirus but without decent films to draw people into the cinema and the additional cost of reducing audiences and keeping them safe is simply causing problems all round.
The fact that TV generally is relying on repeats or odd episodes of programmes filmed before the lockdown, coupled with the success of the espionage film Tenet which was released in August suggests that there is an audience anxious to enjoy a night at the movies.
The major distributors however want to ensure that they receive the maximum income from theatrical releases, especially in America, before letting them out for TV and then DVD screening so there is very little new quality product available to view.
In the UK, Cineworld employs 5,500 staff in 127 venues and it says that the closures are temporary and it is monitoring the situation so that once it has more information about planned releases it will in turn be able to consider when to re-open.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has encouraged people to go to the cinema and enjoy the movies that are on offer, although that may be difficult with the Cineworld closures.