Cineworld confirms May reopening plans as it lines up film deal
Cineworld today confirmed plans to reopen its 127 venues in the UK in May in line with the government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.
Under current guidelines, indoor socialising and hospitality will resume from 17 May, while the government aims to lift all limits on social contact in June.
Cineworld today also said it will open cinemas in its US Regal chain from 2 April, with limited screenings of Godzilla vs Kong. From 16 April it will also show fantasy film Mortal Kombat.
In addition, the world’s second largest cinema chain also said it has signed an exclusive deal with Warner Bros to show its films from opening. From next year, Cineworld will have a 45-day window of exclusivity.
In the UK, where Cineworld also owns the Picturehouse chain, a deal has been signed with Warner Bros giving the company a 31-day exclusive window before films are available to stream.
This will be extended to 45 days for films that open with a pre-agreed box office threshold.
“We have long-awaited this moment when we can welcome audiences back to our Regal theatres and restore our essential role within the communities we serve,” said chief executive Mooky Greidinger.
“With capacity restrictions expanding to 50 per cent or more across most US states, we will be able to operate profitably in our biggest markets. We will also be monitoring developments closely in the UK and across Europe as we set to gradually reopen across the world in line with local government guidance.”
He added that the Warner Bros deal “shows the studio’s commitment to the theatrical business and we see this agreement as an important milestone in our 100-year relationship with Warner Bros.”
The reopening dates will come as a boost to the cinema chain, which has been hit by repeated closures caused by lockdowns.
In November the firm secured a $750m (£560m) funding lifeline, which it said would ensure its survival as long as cinemas reopen in May.