Struggling cinemas are hit with a blow as the new Bond film is delayed until spring 2021.
British cinema company Cineworld is closing 127 branches across the UK and Ireland as a result of the new Bond film ‘No Time To Die’s release date being delayed. The 25th James Bond film, which was set to premier in November was crucial for cinemas to survive as various other big budget films including Wonder Women 2 and Fast and Furious 9 have postponed their releases to next year. The closing of cinemas put 5,500 jobs at risk.Because of the pandemic, production of films has stalled and thus has left cinemas with few films to show. Bond had the power to save cinemas as a big budget release and a fan favorite. It could encourage people to fill the seats of a cinema again – while following social distancing rules – and earn the cinema companies the money to stay open.
Cineworld has announced on their webpage that in the 2 months they were open whilst the pandemic, “not one COVID case has resulted from visiting the cinema”. The decision to close is related to financial problems rather than safety concerns related to the pandemic. As much as films need cinemas to meet audiences, cinemas need films to function. Bond has failed cinemas and left them with no chance but to close or radically reduce screenings.
As a response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to go to cinemas before 127 close indefinitely, starting from October 9th. He was met with criticism as his idea contradicts with social distancing rules. Hundreds of cinemas with thousands of employees are dependent on the government for financial help.
“We don’t even know what is going to happen to us.” says an employee when asked about how the closing on Thursday will affect them. “It is terrible” a costumer chimes in to express his disappointment. “I came here two months ago when everything was opening again. Now we’re going back to where we started.”
The cinema was fairly empty. Cineworld had just introduced a new scheme last week before the closing news, which allowed the customers to see films for only four pounds. The reason why there are not many people coming, says another employee, is because “there are no good movies to watch”.