Cineworld plans to file its reorganization plan by Oct. 31, an attorney for the giant chain said today at a hearing. It also won’t be forced to state its case in a Canadian appeals court next month for reneging on a merger agreement with Cineplex.
Judge Marvin Isgur of the Southern District of Texas, who is leading bankruptcy proceedings for the U.K.-based exhibitor, declined a motion by Cineplex to move forward with the hearing in an Ontario appeals court. Cineplex won a $1.29 billion Candadian dollars (about $1B US) judgement against Cineworld for the latter’s pulling out of their 2019 merger deal. Cineworld had agreed to buy Cineplex for about $3 billion.
Cineworld appealed and arguments were set for Oct. 12 and 13.
Cineworld’s Sept. 7 bankruptcy filing, with just $4 million of cash on hand and $5 billion in debt, resulted in a stay on most proceedings with the company focused on financing, keeping its business running and putting together the plan for its post-Chapter 11 era.
Cineplex had filed a motion for relief of the stay to keep the appeal court dates, which Isgur denied after hearing from attorneys on both sides. He apologized to the Canadian court. “It’s unfortunate that what I am doing today may inconvenience that court, and I recognize that it might, and I regret that, and I send them my regrets.”
He spoke at a scheduled hearing that followed a report earlier today in the Wall Street Journal that Cineplex has approached lenders of Cineworld about reviving a merger, with Regal.
“I read the story as I was eating my cheerios that Cineplex has engaged with lenders of Regal Cinemas about a potential merger. That was news to me. We obviously have had merger talks with Cineplex on and off,” said Cineworld attorney Joshua Sussberg of Kirkland & Ellis. “In fact, there were conversations over the course of the summer before we had an acute liquidity problem.”
He said Cineplex wants “to lock in the claim. I think they’d like to avoid the claim process in bankruptcy court.”
He said Cineworld’s reorganization plans was on a fast track and should be ready before a key hearing date of Oct. 31.
The company is running with most theaters open thanks to a financing agreement reached after a marathon hearing the day after its bankruptcy filing. Isgur granted Cineworld immediate access to $785 million to meet ongoing obligations to vendors and suppliers — including all major Hollywood studios — as well as employee salaries and benefits.
The remainder of the total $1.9 billion DIP, or debtor-in-possession facility will become available upon court approval.
‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Closes In On $550M WW – International Box Office
Refresh for latest…: In its sophomore frame, Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sent its worldwide cume well past the $500M mark, with an estimated $546.3M through Sunday. The split is $288M domestic and $258.3M from the international box office.
The Ryan Coogler-directed sequel is currently the No. 8 highest-grossing Hollywood release of 2022 overseas. Globally, it is at No. 7.
The second offshore weekend was good for $69.8M in 50 material markets. That’s a 49% drop from opening which is better than the majority of other MCU titles for the same suite of markets, including Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (both -56%) as well as Spider-Man: No Way Home (-60%).
Holds were strong in parts of Europe — Germany and Netherlands were each off by 31%, the UK down 48%. Elsewhere, Australia dipped 39%, Brazil was down 43%, and Mexico and Taiwan off 45% apiece. BP2 remains the No. 1 non-local movie in all markets.
The Top 5 markets to date are the UK ($27.1M), Mexico ($22.8M), France ($21.6M), Brazil ($14.2M) and Korea ($14M).
The IMAX international cume is $13.6M with $34.9M global.
In its global opening frame last weekend, Wakanda Forever scored the 3rd highest start for any Hollywood title during the pandemic era, as well as the 2nd biggest global opening of 2022 to date and the 5th highest international launch weekend posted by any Hollywood film of the pandemic era.
Last Tuesday, BP2 propelled Disney across $3B at the worldwide box office, the 14th year that the studio has achieved the milestone.
Audiences Gobble Up ‘The Menu’ Thursday Night With $1M+; ‘Wakanda Forever’ Ends First Week With $220M+
EXCLUSIVE: The Searchlight absurdist genre comedy got off to a promising start with $1M+ last night in previews, we hear. That number is up there with recent comps as Barbarian which did $850K on its Thursday night before a $10.5M opening, and The Northman, another Anya Taylor Joy movie, which posted $1.35M before a $12.2M start. The opening weekend estimate for the Mark Mylod directed movie which also stars Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult and John Leguizamo among others is around $8M. If this movie gets to $10M, it would be a nice oasis for counterprogramming in the face of Disney and Marvel Studios’ mammoth Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which is expected to do a second weekend in the $70M-range. That preview number for The Menu includes some cash from Wednesday and previews that began at 5PM yesterday. The Menu is 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and currently has a good audience score of 83%.
Wakanda Forever posted a $7.5M Thursday, -8% from Wednesday for a first week of $220.7M. The pic crossed $400M worldwide on Wednesday.
Universal’s movie about the New York Times reporters who exposed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, She Said, isn’t expected to do much this weekend, in the low single digits. Previews from 1,600 theatres that began at 5PM were only $160K. Remember, despite any low grosses from these arthouse-type films, in the post-pandemic era, their awards season chances won’t be slowed. I mean, some of the big awards contenders don’t even report their box office grosses. She Said is 85% certified fresh critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 92% audience score from the few who’ve seen it.
Deadline’s Deep Dive Into ‘Bones And All’, ‘She Said’, And More New Releases – Take Two
Editor’s note: Deadline presents the 40th episode of its video series Take Two, in which Pete Hammond and Todd McCarthy tackle the artistry of films just opening in theaters every weekend. Each has reviewed and written about the craft for decades and built a remarkable breadth of knowledge of films past and present. What we hoped for when we asked them to do this was a concise, mature and thoughtful conversation comparable to what we saw from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.
This week we look at the new releases Bones And All , She Said, and Polish International Film entry EO. Timothee Chalamet, Taylor Russell, and Mark Rylance star in director Luca Guadagnino’s award winning Bones And All, an unlikely love story set against the world of cannibalism, but what is it really about? Guadagnino won the Best Director award at the Venice Film Festival for this, his first film shot in America, specifically the American midwest with a story that goes in unpredictable directions but does it really work? It will be playing wide for Thanksgiving holiday and beyond. What is the appetite for it?
And find out what we say about She Said, the kind of critically acclaimed and serious drama Harvey Weinstein used to champion at Miramax and The Weinstein Company. That won’t be the case here for this Universal release because Weinstein’s criminal role is at the center of it, an authentically told story of the New York Times journalists, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey who broke open the case against Harvey in getting the multitude of women victimized by his various sexual assaults finally getting to have their say. Many of them are even in the film that stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as those courageous journalists, and even includes Ashley Judd playing herself. Directed by Maria Schrader and written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, this is a film about women, in front of and behind the screen, who went against the odds to be able tell an extraordinary story. How well do they succeed, and will audiences even bother to see it even as Weinstein is on trial again, this time in Los Angeles after being sentenced to 23 years in prision in New York. Find out what we say about him and why this is a must see.
Finally we do a deep dive into one of the year’s finest international films, the official Oscar entry from Poland, veteran director Jerzy Skolimowski’s moving, wry, and compelling EO. The film focuses on a donkey and his wild journey, but is it really about humanity and the people he meets along the way. It won a prize at Cannes where it debuted in May, and now it hits theatres.
To watch our conversation just click on the link above.
Hammond has been Deadline’s Awards Columnist for the past decade, covering what now seemingly is the year-round Oscar and Emmy seasons. He is also Deadline’s Chief Film Critic, having previously reviewed films for MovieLine, Boxoffice magazine, Backstage, Hollywood.com and Maxim, as well as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, for which he was a contributing editor. In addition to writing, Hammond also hosts KCET Cinema Series and the station’s weekly series Must See Movies.
McCarthy is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. His film Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography won the best documentary prizes from the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics associations, and he won an Emmy for writing the documentary Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer. He also directed the documentaries Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient and Forever Hollywood.
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