Movie Theater Closures

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Impacted by the further delay of the next Bond film, No Time to Die, and with few big budget releases on the horizon, Cineworld announced the closure of their UK and US (Regal) movie theaters. We looked at how Regal and their peers have performed YoY.

After a healthy 2019 holiday season and start to 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 quickly drove sales to zero as movie theaters were required to close across the country. Movie theater chains began to reopen with limited capacity in August, and the Labor Day weekend release of this summer’s only blockbuster movie, Tenet, helped drive a slight uptick in sales. Regal led the way at -85% YoY growth in September, closely followed by Cinemark at -86%, AMC Entertainment at -89%, and Reading International bringing up the rear with a tepid -95% YoY growth.

While most chains now have their own digital ticketing systems, we included Fandango to monitor possible changes in booking behavior. However, at -90% YoY growth, Fandango mirrors the weak rebound of the theaters themselves.

With such anemic sales, it’s likely only a matter of time before other chains follow Cineworld’s lead and close their doors until the threat from COVID recedes.


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