Cineplex stock plunges to record low as James Bond film delayed

Fell as much as 29%

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Cineplex Inc. plunged as much as 29 per cent to a record low on Monday, following the decline of cinema stocks after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer delayed the release of James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ until April due to the pandemic.

“With each film postponement, the dominoes keep dropping and materially jeopardizing the effort of movie theatres to monetize a reopening that began this summer, but hasn’t had much to offer audiences in terms of new releases,” National Bank Financial analyst Adam Shine said in an Oct. 4 note in which he downgraded Cineplex to a hold-equivalent rating from buy.

Cineplex fell 27 per cent to $4.93 at 1:25 p.m. trading in Toronto in its biggest intra-day decline since March 17, when Canada’s largest movie-theatre chain first closed locations to limit the spread of COVID-19. The venues started reopening through the summer, as government-imposed lockdowns eased.

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A second wave of the virus in cities including Toronto and Ottawa prompted Ontario’s government to tighten restrictions again on Friday, imposing new capacity limits on restaurants, gyms and event facilities. Theatres are not part of the latest measures. Toronto-based Cineplex said it doesn’t have any current plans to close theatres.

“While we are always reviewing and refining our operating plans, we are staying the course and will proudly continue offering a safe, comfortable and welcoming movie-going environment for Canadians,” Cineplex spokeswoman Sarah Van Lange said in an emailed statement.

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