March 23, 2021
Cineworld Group, corporate parent of No. 2 exhibitor Regal Cinemas, March 23 announced that its screens would re-open in April — the first time in six months. The phased re-opening will kick off with a limited number of cinemas opening April 2 for Godzilla vs. Kong and going wider on April 16 with Mortal Kombat. Cineworld also plans to re-open in the United Kingdom, its second biggest market, in May, in line with current government guidance.
“We have long awaited this moment when we can welcome audiences back to our Regal theaters and restore our essential role within the communities we serve,” CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement. “We continue to take all the necessary precautions and abide by our CinemaSafe guidelines to confidently provide a safe and comfortable experience. With capacity restrictions expanding to 50% or more across most U.S. states, we will be able to operate profitably in our biggest markets. We will also be monitoring developments closely in the U.K. and across Europe as we set to gradually reopen across the world in line with local government guidance.”
In addition, Cineworld reached a multiyear agreement under which films from Warner Bros. Pictures will be exhibited at Regal screens in the United States when they open, in addition to streaming on HBO Max. The exhibitor will allow for Warner’s concurrent theatrical/Max distribution for the remainder of 2021. Beginning next year, Warner theatrical releases will have a 45-day window of theatrical exclusivity, with certain provisions.
As for the United Kingdom, Warner and Cineworld agreed to an exclusive theatrical window of 31 days prior to PVOD, and an extended window of 45 days for films that open to an agreed upon box-office threshold.
By comparison, AMC Theatres struck deals with Warner and Universal Pictures adhering to WarnerMedia’s concurrent Max release strategy, while affording Universal a 17-day window with revenue-sharing on select titles based on box office.
“This agreement shows the studio’s commitment to the theatrical business, and we see this as an important milestone in our 100-year relationship with Warner Bros.,” Greidinger said, adding that the U.S. market represents 75% of Cineworld’s business.
“We are great believers in the theatrical experience, which only a year ago  generated $43 billion in revenue worldwide,” he said.