Cineworld marks comeback with Warner Bros. deal

UPSOUND: “It’s Godzilla….”

…Versus King Kong.

The epic monster mash-up is set to mark the reopening of Cinemark’s U.S. Regal theaters next month.

The world’s second largest theater chain inked a deal Tuesday with movie studio Warner Brothers to make sure that starting next year films like this will have 45 days on the big screen before they start streaming.

Warner Bros. already announced that all of its 2021 titles will be released simultaneously in theaters and on its streaming service HBO Max.

Before movie theater chains were forced to close due to the health crisis, they traditionally had a 90-day window before movies started streaming.

This deal could be another sign of how movie theaters and flourishing streaming platforms might co-exist in the new normal.

Cinemark signed a deal in November to allow Universal Pictures to offer its movies to U.S. homes after only 17 days on theater screens.

Both Cinemark and rival AMC are betting on big-budget releases such as Godzilla vs. King Kong and the vaccine rollout to lure customers back to theaters.

Cinemark’s CEO says that with capacity limits rising to 50% or more across most U.S. states – that’s good enough for him to turn a profit.