Cineplex has confirmed that its theatres will remain closed for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian theatre giant had previously set a reopening date of April 2nd. The company operates 165 theatres across Canada and makes up roughly 75 percent of the country’s overall film exhibitor market.
Speaking to the Canadian Press, a Cineplex spokesperson said the company will wait to hear from Canadian health officials when it’s safe to reopen theatres.
That said, even if the global health crisis were to suddenly start clearing up, Cineplex would also have to contend with the litany of films that have been significantly delayed in response to COVID-19.
Some of these films include Mulan (moved from March 26th, 2020 to a yet-to-be-determined date), No Time to Die (originally scheduled for April 10th, 2020 and now slated for November 25th), Black Widow (was set for May 1st, 2020 and is now undated) and Fast & Furious 9 (pushed from May 22nd, 2020 to April 2nd, 2021).
Meanwhile, many other films have seen a shortened theatrical run as studios move them to streaming services early, such as Onward (now on digital, coming to Disney+ Canada on April 3rd), Sonic the Hedgehog (now on digital), The Invisible Man (now on digital) and Bad Boys for Life (now on digital).
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, London, England-based theatre giant Cineworld announced plans to acquire Cineplex for $2.8 billion CAD. Given the constantly-developing global situation surrounding COVID-19, however, it remains to be seen if this deal will ultimately go through.
For its part, Cineplex must meet a number of conditions by June 30th, such as keeping debt below $725 million. With ongoing operational expenses amid closures of its theatres and Rec Room and Playdium entertainment venues, though, it’s unclear whether Cineplex will be able to manage that.
Via: BNN Bloomberg