In the newest of a protracted sequence of closing bulletins related to authorities efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, all 543 Regal Cinemas places within the U.S. will shut as of Tuesday, March 17, the movie show chain introduced Monday afternoon. “All theatres will remain closed until further notice,” the corporate mentioned in a information launch, making Regal the primary nationwide cinema chain to announce an entire shutdown.
The choice adopted Friday’s information that Regal and competitor AMC Theatres have been planning to restrict theaters to 50% capability to help in “social distancing” and adjust to the rising variety of regional restrictions on massive gatherings of individuals. It’s the newest transfer for a quickly shuttering business that’s already seen all kinds of shutdowns happening, from particular movies like Mulan, No Time to Die, and The New Mutants being faraway from upcoming launch schedules to manufacturing hiatuses on motion pictures together with The Matrix 4, Mission: Impossible 7, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman.
The previous week has seen a dramatic acceleration in cancellations and closures of public occasions as a result of COVID-19, with movie and music festivals like SXSW and Coachella being shut down; gaming occasions like esports competitions, E3, and the Game Developers Conference occurring hiatus; theme parks and eating places closing; and extra.
In response to the dramatic drop in moviegoing and the information about theaters limiting ticket gross sales, some studios are releasing movies to streaming platforms early. Universal Pictures plans to place its upcoming animated sequel Trolls World Tour onto streaming platforms the day of its theatrical launch, and is sending present movies like Emma and The Hunt to streaming whereas they’re nonetheless in theaters. Disney launched Frozen 2 on Disney Plus three months early, and bumped up the streaming launch of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by a number of days. With increasingly more movies being pulled from launch, and extra theater chains more likely to shut, sending initiatives on to streaming providers could turn out to be a viable launch technique for main studios.