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Regal Theaters’ parent company Cineworld Group announced Tuesday that will reopen its U.S. sites this April and also that it had reached a deal with Warner Bros. over theatrical window exclusivity for the studio’s films from 2022.
Cineworld plans to do a phased reopening of Regal’s U.S. cinemas and will begin with a limited number of theaters opening for Godzilla vs. Kong on April 2 and going wider with Mortal Kombat on April 16. Regal has 7,076 screens in 536 theatres in the U.S. which have been closed for the last six months due to COVID-19.
Cineworld also said it plans to reopen in the U.K., its second-biggest market, in May, in line with current government guidance.
Additionally, Cineworld announced that it has agreed to a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. under which the studio’s films will be exhibited in Regal cinemas in the U.S. as of their opening. As per the terms of the deal, from the start of 2022, Warners’ theatrical releases will have a 45-day window of theatrical exclusivity, with certain provisions.
In the U.K., Warners and Cineworld have 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.
Cineworld’s deal with Warners brings to a close a dispute between the companies over the latter’s seismic shift in its release strategy. In December, the studio shocked the exhibition industry when it announced that it would debut all its 2021 titles — including blockbusters such as Matrix 4, Dune and The Suicide Squad — simultaneously in theaters and on its streaming platform HBO Max in the U.S.
“We are very happy for the agreement with Warner Bros. This agreement shows the studio’s commitment to the theatrical business and we see this agreement as an important milestone in our 100-year relationship with Warner Bros.” Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, said in a statement.
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