Cineworld confirms it is temporarily closing all its UK and US cinemas
It follows the delay of No Time To Die
Cineworld has confirmed that is temporarily closing all of its cinemas in the UK and US, with bosses saying it "is not a decision we made lightly".
The chain will shut all 663 cinemas, including 127 Picturehouse and Cineworld locations in the UK. The move will put around 45,000 jobs at risk, with 5,500 of them in the UK.
Cineworld owns the Regal chain in the US.
Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said that he "cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was" for the company.
"We did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets."
"Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen."
Reports of closures from Cineworld spread over the weekend. On Sunday they tweeted that it was "considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached". The move has now been confirmed.
The decision comes after the release of the next James Bond film No Time To Die was delayed for a second time. The film was originally supposed to be released in April this year, but was initially put back until November. Last week however it was moved again until April 2020.
The film was seen by many as the movie that would get people back into cinemas, so the second delay comes as a real blow to the film industry.
Christopher Nolan's Tenet was the first big cinema release following the reopening of cinemas in many countries. So far, that film has taken $307 million worldwide.
Most other blockbusters have been delayed, whereas Disney chose to release the live-action Mulan straight to streaming on Disney+.