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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Regal to shut down more theaters during prime winter movie-going time

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Regal Entertainment Group on Friday said that it will temporarily close all 400 of its theaters nationwide on Monday, the same day it shuttered a large number of theaters on Oct. 1, the final day of the summer box office.

“As one of the many victims of our low-budget year-to-date performance, we are confident we have the right playbook in place to strengthen our business, ensure that we are financially prudent and well positioned for the future,” said Amy Miles, the CEO of Regal, in a news release. “With the mid-winter holidays upon us, which are known to provide the best box office of the year, our focus has turned to execution and returning the company to profitability.”

Regal said that its 800 remaining theaters will open on Wednesday.

The company said that it will be suspending its dividend, according to CNBC. (According to Bloomberg, Regal did not give a specific reason for the decision.) In its announcement, Regal cited its cash burn and decreased cash on hand. It didn’t indicate the reasons for the profitability problem, or the cash burn.

Although Regal took a $17.3 million charge on the closing of its hundreds of theaters, Regal shares rose 2.6 percent in premarket trading to $16.11. The stock has dropped a total of 38 percent since it started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in April. The stock has lost 70 percent since its June 2014 peak, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Regal, like the rest of the industry, has suffered through a brutal year at the box office. On Sept. 29, the industry declined nearly 14 percent from last year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Box office in the second half of the year will likely be off another 14 percent.

This weekend, “Bohemian Rhapsody” topped the box office with $47.5 million in receipts, according to studio estimates.

Regal typically shuts down one-third of its theaters during the winter and spring break months.

The Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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