Movie-going could 'become extinct' warns director

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Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins (left) with actress Gal Gadot

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has said that filming is facing a real threat of extinction.

Your new superhero movie was postponed three times during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jenkins is among the dozen of top Hollywood directors calling on the US government to provide a financial lifeline to cinemas.

Your warning comes as UK cinemas are also grappling with a spate of late film releases.

“If we end this, it will not be a reversible process,” she said in an interview with Reuters news agency. “We could lose cinema forever.”

Cinemas around the world are struggling financially with severe Covid-19 social restrictions restricting customers, as well as a lack of blockbuster films to attract.

In the US, the National Association of Theater Owners said 69% of small and medium-sized cinema companies could be forced to file for bankruptcy or close permanently.

America is the world’s largest film market in terms of box office revenue, with China rapidly catching up.

Jenkins said widespread closings would encourage Hollywood studios to move away from investing in films for theaters and instead turn to online streaming.

“This could have happened to the music industry,” she added. “Where you could let the whole industry collapse by turning it into something that can’t be profitable.”

Some of the big Hollywood films of the year, including Walt Disney’s Mulan, skipped theaters and went straight to streaming.

Ms. Jenkins said there was no way to go straight to streaming for her 1984 sequel, Wonder Woman.

The superhero film with Gal Gadot is now set to be released on Christmas Day. This is a six month delay from the original June premiere date.

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Further delays

Last week it was announced that the release of the new James Bond movie has been delayed again.

The premiere of No Time To Die had already been postponed from April to November due to the pandemic. It is now planned for April 2021.

Blockbuster remake Dune has also postponed the release date. The Warner Bros. science fiction epic was supposed to be out in December but has been postponed to October 2021.

Warner Bros has also postponed The Batman, which is now due in March 2022.

In the UK, Odeon is only reducing the opening hours of some of its cinemas due to delays in new movie releases on weekends.

The chain, which operates 120 theaters, said it will affect a quarter of its cinemas, which will now be open between Friday and Sunday.

It comes, as Cineworld said, it will temporarily close its UK and US venues, affecting 45,000 jobs.