By Rosy Cordero
October 04, 2020 at 03:22 PM EDT
Credit: Getty Images

Regal Cinemas across the United States may shutter again, following the announcement of top tier films like No Time to Die being shifted to 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Although rumors abound as to how temporary the new closures will be, parent company Cineworld Group will only confirm that conversations are ongoing. Variety reports 543 U.S. Regal Cinema theaters and U.K.'s Cineworld theaters could close for business as early as this week.

"We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached," a statement from Cineworld Group released on Sunday via Twitter reads. "Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can."

Many theaters re-opened for the first time since March during the late summer months stateside in preparation for the highly anticipated release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet in Sept, with executives remaining hopeful other releases like No Time To Die would follow its lead. But as tentpole films continue to be postponed due to the rise of confirmed coronavirus cases, the movie theater business is in danger.

With Regal's parent company's operating costs in the red to the tune of $1.34 billion, according to Variety, could this be the end of the movie theater experience as we know it?

"This situation is purely a reflection of marketplace dynamics, the likes of which we've never seen," Comscore's Paul Dergarabedian tells EW. "This is now really getting to a point where people are going to enjoy a lot of content on the small screen. Movie theaters had to hit pause again. These are market forces that are at play and without the great content to draw people to the theater, it makes business sense right now to hit reset again. And they'll come back, we don't know when but down the road, movie theaters will come back and it might look a little different."

Regal Cinemas is the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States and Cineworld is the largest chain in the United Kingdom.

EW reached out to Cineworld for comment.

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