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CINEMAS CLOSE NATIONWIDE, DISNEY POSTPONES ‘BLACK WIDOW'
CINEMAS CLOSE NATIONWIDE, DISNEY POSTPONES ‘BLACK WIDOW'
U.S. movie theaters have closed nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, turning dark nearly all of the country’s 40,000-plus screens in an unprecedented shutdown.
With most of Hollywood’s March and April releases already postponed, the Walt Disney Co. also cleared out its May releases as well, including Marvel’s “Black Widow.”

The largest chains had tried to remain open even as Hollywood postponed its upcoming release plans and guidelines for social distancing steadily diminished the recommended size of crowds. But after President Donald Trump on Monday urged against gatherings of more than 10 people, AMC Theaters, the nation’s largest chain, said Tuesday its theaters would close altogether.

AMC said the latest guidelines made movie theater operations “essentially impossible.” It said it would close all locations in the U.S. for at least six to 12 weeks. Regal, the second largest chain, said that its theaters would close until further notice.

The Walt Disney Co. also indefinitely postponed “Black Widow,” which had been set to open May 1. Marvel movies have for years been the regular kick off to the summer movie going season. The company also put off the releases of “David Copperfield (May 8) and “The Woman in the Window” (May 15).

With movie theaters locked down for the foreseeable future, some studios took the extraordinary step of funneling new or recently released films onto home viewing platforms. Universal Pictures said it will make its current and upcoming films available for on-demand rental, becoming the first major studio to break the traditional theatrical window of 90 days due to the pandemic.

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March 20, 2020