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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Any hope that blockbuster hits would return to the big screen this year have been shattered in the past week.

Driving the news: Cineworld, the parent company of Regal Cinemas, on Monday said it would be temporarily closing all of its 663 theaters in the U.S. and the U.K. In doing so, it cited that movie studios weren't sending enough of its biggest movies to theaters to lure consumers. More movie delays announced Monday showcase their point.

Details: Warner Bros. on Monday said that its highly-anticipated film "Dune" would now be delayed in its theatrical debut until 2021.

  • Later that night, it was reported that Warner Bros. would push the theatrical release date for "The Batman," from 2021 to 2022, so that the release date would not coincide with the new release date for "Dune."
  • It also said it would delay other movies like "Flash," and "Shazam 2."
  • Regal's notice came three days after MGM announced it was pushing back the release date for the second time of the latest James Bond film to April 2021.

Be smart: These delays weren't shocking, considering the fact that the studio had already pushed back hits like "Wonder Woman 1984" after "Tenet's" shaky debut.

  • Warner Bros. tested a theatrical debut with its hit film "Tenet" over Labor Day and the results weren't good. It grossed less than $50 million in the U.S. since its debut, less than a quarter of what it's been able to pull in internationally and a tiny fraction of what analysts originally thought it would bring in pre-pandemic.

The big picture: The movie industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus. Analysts have said that the pandemic could put entire theater chains out of business.

  • Theater chains in August rolled out a joint set of industry-wide safety protocols, but surveys show that until there's a widely-available vaccines, some consumers are nervous about returning to theaters. In response to lackluster attendance, movie studios have delayed the release of their biggest hits.

Bottom line: The movie industry likely won't even begin to begin to bounce back until 2021, when big blockbusters are back on the release schedule. Even then it's likely to face continued closures and delays.

Go deeper

Congress considers relief for small theaters

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Congressional aides tell Axios that the stimulus proposal put forth by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, which already has President Trump's seal of approval, would provide $15 billion in grants to independent performance venues and movie theaters.

Yes, but: The relief would only be available to companies with fewer than 500 full-time employees, about 60% of the movie theaters in the U.S.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
28 mins ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.