With Bond, you know the ending from the outset. That does not apply at Cineworld | Nils Pratley

Opting for corporate hibernation doesn’t remove cinema chain’s urgent need for fresh funds

Choose your villain in the depressing no-action cinema thriller. The top nomination goes to the distributors of the James Bond franchise who have killed the Christmas season for the cinema industry by shunting the release of No Time To Die into next spring.

Then there’s Andrew Cuomo, the mayor of New York, who has helped to frighten Hollywood studios by closing the city’s screens. Cineworld itself, now planning to shut all its US and UK cinemas for an indefinite period, is hardly blameless. It is carrying $8.2bn (£6.3bn) of net debt, including lease commitments and its over-leveraged position existed before Covid-19 hit takings.

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