Cineworld, the worlds second-largest cinema group, confirmed on monday that it would suspend screenings across the uk and us after the next james bond film became the latest blockbuster to be delayed.

Shares in the chain, which operates 536 regal cinemas in the us and 127 cineworld and picturehouse screens in the uk, plunged almost 50 per cent in early trading following the announcement that the cinemas would shut from thursday.

Without new releases from studios, cineworld said that it cannot provide customers in both the us and the uk the companys primary markets with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of covid-19.

Cineworld did not provide a detailed timetable for when its screens would reopen, and the decision will deepen the groups struggles as the us and uk markets make up almost 90 per cent of its revenues.the chain said the closures would affect about 45,000 employees, without giving details.

Mgms no time to die, actor daniel craigs final outing as james bond, was due for release in november but will now debut in april next year.

Last month, cineworld revealed that it made a $1.6bn pre-tax loss in the first half of the year and had $8.2bn net debt. on monday, the group said it was assessing several sources of additional liquidity and all liquidity raising options are being considered.

Mooky greidinger, cineworlds chief executive, said that cinemas would reopen at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.