The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday, Feb. 12, edition that on Thursday, Cineplex said that 13.1 million people went to the movies in 2020, which represents an 80.3-per-cent audience decline.
The Globe's Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes that in the last three months of the year theatre audiences fell 95.3 per cent compared with the year before, to about 800,000 visitors. While premium-priced digital rentals of Wonder Woman 1984 did well on the Cineplex Store, the benefit was small compared with having theatres open across the country -- including on Boxing Day, generally one of the busiest days of the year.
Chief executive officer Ellis Jacob believes audiences are eager to go back to movie theatres once it is possible for them to do so -- and that after months of being urged to stay at home, they will want to go out. "There's going to be pent-up demand in a big way."
About 15 per cent of Cineplex's theatres in Canada are currently open, largely in the Atlantic provinces and Saskatchewan. Theatres west of Saskatchewan remain closed. Two locations in Ontario are set to reopen on Friday in Kingston and Belleville. It is expected that more of its theatres will be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks.
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