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Regal, Cineworld Closing Hundreds of Movie Theaters

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It's a sad week for movie lovers. Cineworld, the owner of Regal movie theaters in America, has just announced it will be closing theaters across the U.S. and U.K. this week. Even though Cineworld began to open some locations where coronavirus-related shutdowns were easing, the pandemic and postponed release of some big-name titles have hurt business, according to CNBC.

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Films like Marvel's Black Widow and the latest installment of the James Bond universe, No Time to Die, were both scheduled to be released earlier this year. 

"Without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the U.S. and the UK... with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres," said Cineworld in a statement.

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In a tweet, Cineworld stated that the closures are meant to be temporary, but nothing has been finalized yet. 

Source: Twitter

"We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached," the tweet says. "Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can."

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To make matters even worse, CNBC also reports that all of these closures will result in the loss of about 45,000 jobs. 

One person is blaming the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, for movie theater collapses. Variety reports that John Fithian, head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, believes that Cuomo's decision to keep theaters closed is hurting the industry. 

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"The failure of Gov. Cuomo to allow movie theaters to reopen anywhere in his state was a principal, if not exclusive, cause of the Bond move," Fithian said in an interview with Variety. "If New York remains closed to theater operations, other movies scheduled for 2020 will move as well."

Later on in the interview, Fithian says that restaurants, gyms, and other kinds of businesses are back open in New York and that theaters should open in areas where there aren't spikes in the coronavirus. 

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New York is apparently a huge market for the movie industry. In the interview, Fithian says, "New York is a major source of box office, but it also plays a hugely important role in shaping culture. 

"Many important analysts are in New York. Many important journalists are in New York. Many important film critics are in New York. With New York closed, those important opinion-makers don’t have the opportunity to go to the cinema."

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Cuomo's team responded to this. "We’re moving heaven and Earth trying to stop a second wave and people need to acknowledge that we’re still in a pandemic and start to act like it," said Richard Azzopardi, senior advisor to Gov. Cuomo. "We understand some people are unhappy, but you know what? Better unhappy than sick or worse."

What is Cineworld?

According to its website, Cineworld is a cinema group that owns theaters around the world. The U.K. based operation owns more than just the Regal chain. Cinema City, Yes Planet, and Picturehouse locations are also a part of this conglomerate.

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The Cineworld Group public limited company (PLC) was founded in 1995 and is now the second-largest cinema business in the world if calculated by the number of screens it owns.

What is AMC stock price today?

As Cineworld announced the closures, its rivals are also feeling the consequences. AMC, another big name in the world of movie theaters, saw a drop in its stock price. According to Market Watch, AMC shares dropped over 11 percent. The stock has lost over 41 percent since its close on September 2.  

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When is the James Bond "No Time to Die" release date?

As of now, No Time to Die is set to be released on April 2, 2021. But the movie was originally supposed to hit theaters in April of this year. At first, Variety reported that the movie was to be postponed until this coming November. 

But further pushing back the release date of this movie has also caused another one to be postponed. The latest Bond movie was set to premiere on the same weekend as the Fast & Furious sequel F9. To avoid any conflicts there, F9 has also been delayed until late May 2021.

No Time to Die is the last film where Daniel Craig will star as the famous 007. According to its IMDb page, the movie starts out with James Bond having left active service. He's living a peaceful carefree life in retirement when a friend of his needs his help. Now, Bond has to complete one last mission to fight a new villain with some cool new weapons. 

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