Regal Cinemas is hoping to open its U.S. locations again by March. The chain was forced to shut down again back in October 2020 as its parent company Cineworld made the difficult decision following the delay of No Time to Die. But there is possible hope on the horizon for the company, as they expect to be up and running again in the next few months.
The announcement was made on Twitter recently. Regal Cinemas, the second-largest theater chain in the U.S., behind only AMC, operates more than 500 locations. But they have been closed for months as few new movies have been available to drum up business. Even blockbusters such as Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984 failed to deliver hits on the level that many in Hollywood hoped. But Regal stated that they intend to open again once New York City and Los Angeles clear the way. The company had this to say about it in a tweet.
"Big movies are made for the big screen and we plan to open our theatres once NYC and LA allow, we hope this happens by March."
New York City and Los Angeles are two of the nation's biggest moviegoing markets. For most of 2020, theaters were shut down in both cities. Even as many movie theaters have resumed business in the U.S. and throughout much of the world, regulations in these cities have prevented moviegoing from resuming. That has impacted the bottom line for Regal, as well as other chains. Per this statement, once those locations can open again, the company will resume operations. But it is truly anyone's guess as to when that might be. If 2020 taught us anything, the situation can change at a moment's notice.
Regal, AMC and other chains have struggled financially over the last year. Even outside of theaters being closed, many major releases opted to debut on streaming, or they were bumped to 2021. That left theaters with little to show even when they were allowed to open. As such, the 2020 box office took a nosedive, with China overtaking the U.S. for the first time in history. With vaccines rolling out currently, this year is expected to be an improvement. But we are still likely several months away from seeing true results.
To make matters worse, many of this year's "big movies" are debuting both in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day. WarnerMedia made the decision to release its entire 2021 movie slate simultaneously on streaming and in theaters. The move angered many theater owners, as well as A-list talent in the industry. That means that at least a percentage of the box office that might have otherwise been there for theaters to take advantage of will be sacrificed to the streaming wars. Be that as it may, Regal seems hopeful that things will turn around in the near future. You can check out the original post from the Regal Twitter account.