Cinemark is the latest company to issue sweeping pay cuts amidst the ongoing situation the entertainment industry finds itself in, given what is happening all around the world right now. The theater chain is issuing massive pay cuts for its employees across the board, while CEO Mark Zoradi, as well as the company's board of directors, will be forgoing their salary for the time being. Other top executives within the company are also taking steep, voluntary pay cuts while continuing to work.
Lower-level employees are currently making no more than 50 percent of their pay, but are maintaining full benefits. These drastic measures are being taken so that the company can hopefully stay afloat long enough to reopen its doors once it is safe to do so, while retaining as many employees as possible. Disney recently did something similar. Mark Zoradi had this to say in a letter sent out to Cinemark staff.
"Currently, our theaters across the globe are closed, and it is uncertain when they will be able to re-open. We are not generating any revenue while theaters are closed, yet still must meet financial and contractual obligations. Cinemark's priority as it navigates through this uncertainty is to ensure that the company will be able to once again open theaters and employ our global team members. I look forward to the day in the hopefully not-too-distant future when the Cinemark team can once again welcome guests to enjoy the immersive moviegoing experience we offer at our theaters."
The theater chain, the third-largest in the U.S. behind AMC and Regal, has been closed entirely for two weeks. When AMC closed its doors, the company said it would remain closed for six to 12 weeks. With that timeline in mind, things are likely going to get worse before they get better for these companies, financially speaking. That could deal a serious blow to the theatrical movie business once the world returns to some sense of normalcy.
Virtually every major release that was scheduled through 2020 has been pushed back, with Sony recently pushing almost its entire release calendar to 2021. No Time to Die, Morbius, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, F9, Mulan, Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984 and A Quiet Place: Part II, amongst many others, have all been delayed. That could present another issue, in that, once theaters do begin to reopen, they may not have much in the way of new movies to show, at least not right away, that can help put meat in seats.
Theaters recently tried to start reopening in China, which was promising. However, after just one week, they were all forced to close again. The current government social distancing orders remain in effect until April 30 in the U.S. So the earliest Cinemark and other chains could hope to reopen would be on May 1. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.