New BRWC article!
It’s my intention to start writing a little more for other websites alongside the blog here, and I penned a piece last year for Battle Royale With Cheese, who were kind enough to publish an opinion piece on the disappointing news that Cineworld are closing all of their U.K. cinemas for the foreseeable future and laying off staff.
Click beyond the jump for a sample of the piece and a link to the article…
To some this seemed inevitable. To others unthinkable. To many, a genuine surprise. Cineworld, the largest cinema chain in the U.K., are closing all 128 venues across Britain with the loss of over five thousand jobs.
It is, quite simply, a devastating blow to the cinema industry, particularly as this also affects over five hundred Regal cinemas in the U.S., with many more redundancies likely there too as a result. Commentators have been long anxious about the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in the death of independent cinemas, privately owned minnows in a sea of corporations, but for Cineworld to admit defeat, close their doors until some point in 2021, and lay off most of their workforce, proves just how badly our unprecedented situation has marked the cinematic landscape. If there was one organisation you would imagine had the reserves and resolve to battle on, it was Cineworld.
The trigger for this has been, undoubtedly, the push back of the 25th James Bond movie No Time to Die, which in a remarkable about face – remarkable for the fact Eon & MGM were going full bore with their marketing campaign for the intended November release, including posters, podcasts, music etc… – decided to move the film’s release until April for the second time, conservatively hopeful that the pandemic will be under greater control in Europe by Easter. Cineworld, and the entire landscape, were banking on 007 appropriately coming to the rescue and now he has gone ‘undercover’ for six months, shall we say, then all hope appears to be lost. The Blofeld that is Covid-19 is too much for Cineworld, haemorrhaging profits and facing down sizeable debt as their cinemas remain open with few punters, and the result is the worst outcome: redundancies.
Let’s not kid ourselves on who is principally to blame here, though. It’s not the public. It’s not the film studios. The blame lies with an ineffective, willowy, strategically inept government who have allowed things to get this far.