The bad news for the movie business keeps piling up, enough that B. Riley analyst Eric Wold further cut his box office forecasts for both this year and 2021, before suggesting something of a return to old levels in 2022.

But in the meantime, the pandemic pinch that left theaters shut for months and Hollywood studios rescheduling most of their slates into next year or beyond continues to batter the business.

The latest news includes U.K. exhibitor chain Vue saying it will partially close a quarter of its screens during the week. The chain said in a statement that it will close 21 of its 87 theaters Tuesday through Thursday, beginning next week, “to ensure that our business is financially well-placed to withstand the uncertainty ahead.”

The move is similar to one by British competitor Odeon. Cineworld, which also owns the No. 2 U.S. chain Regal, took an even more drastic step, closing all its U.K. and U.S. locations for the next several weeks.

The situation is even more grim for B&B Theatres, the sixth-largest chain in the United States. The company warned that it was a few months away from bankruptcy if it doesn’t receive new content or government aid.

No. 1 U.S. chain AMC issued a similar warning last summer, then restructured its debt, cut a landmark revenue-sharing deal with NBCUniversal, and said it planned to issue 15 million new shares of stock. In response to the Cineworld closures, AMC said last week that it would keep theaters open and strive to open more, depending in part on potential revenues from that NBCU deal.

But the situation is ugly overall for the industry. Cineworld’s closure announcement came soon after MGM pushed back the

Laura Alber, president and CEO, Williams-Sonoma Inc.: Like everyone, it really caught us off guard. And the most important thing for us is the safety of our people. So we wanted to be thoughtful about what to do, and we spent a lot of time on that. Then of course you go into scenario planning. I lived through the recession in the ’90s here; I was president of the company. I watched us come out of that stronger than we went into it and gain market share. So I knew we needed to be aggressive and prioritize those things that would make a difference and cut those things that we could wait on. 

We were 56% e-commerce heading into the pandemic. So we were very fortunate that we were able to pivot quickly and capture the shift to digital. A couple years back, we had purchased a company called Outward that does 3-D room planning for us. So we didn’t just have a website, we had tools that we then used to help people who still wanted to buy for their home to envision what it would look like. Previous to Covid, we would go into people’s homes and do room planning with them. We now had to do that all virtually. It was amazing to watch our store associates pivot to doing digital design. We had the tools, and our associates were so innovative about how to use them. So we quickly saw our virtual design-chat pipeline of sales grow exponentially. 

Our mission has been to improve people’s lives at home. And that value colors not just what we sell, but how we sell things and how we source things and the company we are. It was probably a [one] week decision to decide what we were going to