Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld Group is hoping for an agreement on release windows after Warner Bros.’ shock announcement on Thursday that their entire 2021 slate would release simultaneously in cinemas and on HBO Max day and date.
In a statement released Friday, a Cineworld spokesperson said: “Cineworld was aware of WB’s plan to release ‘Wonder Woman’ directly to its streaming service, which has been announced at a time when our cinemas remain closed in the U.S. and U.K. We are very encouraged by the giant steps achieved recently with regards to the COVID-19 vaccination process, which is expected to be put in place earlier than previously anticipated.
“This will generate significant relief for our industry and enable our cinemas to make a great comeback,” the statement continued. “We believe that at such a time, WB will look to reach an agreement about the proper window and terms that will work for both sides. Big movies are made for the big screen and we cannot wait to reopen our cinemas in Q1 in order to offer our customers, as always, the best place to watch a movie.”
In October, Cineworld announced the closure of all their U.S. and U.K. sites. The catalyst was the postponement of James Bond film “No Time To Die” to Easter 2021.
Hurt badly by the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the group recently received a lifeline in the form of a $450 million debt facility.
The U.K. recently became the first country in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccination, which will be rolled out from next week.
Warner Bros.’ 2021 slate consists of 17 films including “The Matrix 4,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” remake, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical adaptation of “In the Heights,” the “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” and “The Suicide Squad.”