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Warner Bros. pushed back the premiere of the sci-fi film “Dune” to October 2021 as studios juggle releasing films during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The studio made the latest adjustment to the 2020 film release schedule Monday night after Regal Cinemas’s parent company announced it would temporarily close hundreds of theaters across the U.S. amid low attendance. 

Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” will now be released Oct. 1, 2021, instead of in December 2020. The film took the scheduled release date for “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson, which will now come to theaters in March 2022. 

Warner Bros. also moved up its “Matrix” sequel to December 2021.

Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, the country’s second-largest theater chain, announced Monday that it will temporarily close 536 Regal theaters across the U.S. and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse locations in the U.K.

AMC, the largest theater chain in North America, has committed to remaining open and will show upcoming releases like “The War With Grandpa” and “Yellow Rose.” As of Sept. 30, 80 percent of AMC theaters in the U.S. are in operation

Cineworld made the decision to temporarily shut down locations after big films like the James Bond movie “No Time to Die,” “Black Widow” and “West Side Story” were delayed until next year. 

A few movies are still set to be released this year, including Pixar’s “Soul,” Universal’s “The Croods: A New Age,” Disney’s “Death on the Nile,” and Warner Bros.’s “Wonder Woman 1984.” 

Warner Bros. tested the movie industry with its release of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” in August, which made more than $307 million worldwide but with only $45 million from North America, usually the biggest box office market, according to The Associated Press.

Tags Coronavirus dune Film film industry movie industry Movie theater movies Pandemic

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