Although dozens of states have gradually reopened non-essential businesses over the past few weeks, Regal Cinemas appears to be in no hurry to join the movement. In a solemn Tweet posted on Tuesday evening, the company announced that it currently wasn’t planning to reopen even one of its 564 facilities any time soon.
At this time, we have not made a decision when to reopen. We continue to work with authorities and studios in order to host our audiences and show them the big blockbusters in a safe environment. As soon as we have an opening date, we will share. pic.twitter.com/vtqUALuA5I
— Regal (@RegalMovies) May 26, 2020
In the Tweet, Regal – whose doors have been closed since March 16th – expressed concern not only for its own financial situation, but that of the movie industry in general as well. Promising to work with “studios” to show their audiences “the big blockbusters in a safe environment,” the company expressed its deepest sympathies for the Hollywood system, which has been languishing ever since the global health pandemic put production schedules on hold earlier this spring.
But at the end of the day, the real suckers of this crisis aren’t found on the production side of the business, but over at distribution. Indeed, while these are difficult times for studios worldwide, the biggest ones are able to keep some of their income streams flowing by either selling leftover content to streaming services like Netflix, or uploading them, like Disney and HBO have started doing, on their own.
The new normal has definitely put the established order to the test, sometimes turning former allies into enemies in the process. Take the release of the animated kids film Trolls World Tour, for example. Though initially set to premiere in cinemas across the globe, Universal ultimately decided to hand it over to streaming.
Though this decision allowed them to make money quickly, it seriously jeopardized business relations with the media conglomerate’s traditional distribution channels. But while Regal has joined its rival AMC in boycotting this betrayal, it’s hard to imagine they won’t receive Universal with open arms once people feel safe enough to attend cinemas again. After all, if they don’t, what else are they gonna do?