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Popcorn Lovers Wept: AMC Theatres Has ‘Substantial Doubt’ It Can Stay In Business Following Blow From COVID-19

As U.S. Begins To Reopen, Nightlife And Entertainment Industry Remains Dark In Hard Hit New York City

Source: Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty

As protests rage on in all 50 of the United States (and Puerto Rico) and several other countries throughout the world, it’s hard to believe just two weeks ago, the coronavirus was the number one story on everyone’s mind. While we’ve got more pressing issues to worry about right now, the virus definitely didn’t go away, and businesses that were put into a tough position due to COVID-19 closures are still seeing a steep decline without any opening date in sight.

On Wednesday, the world’s biggest movie theater chain, AMC Theatres, let its customers know things are looking grim by publicizing the “substantial doubt” it has that it can stay in business.

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This might not be too much of a surprise to those paying attention to similar headlines prior, with the company previously saying it wouldn’t be showing Universal films anymore after the studio had such great success with its on-demand releases. Still, Wednesday’s announcement shows exactly how much of an affect the coronavirus had–and still has–on the world of entertainment.

According to reports from CNN, AMC anticipates losses between $2.1 billion and $2.4 billion in the first quarter. The company has stated that its 2020 revenue has fallen by about 22 percent, to $941.5 million (from $1.2 billion during the same period in 2019). But that was in a quarter where things operated normally up until the very end. as for the second quarter of 2020, things are going to be significantly worse.

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“We are generating effectively no revenue,” AMC said in a regulatory filing from Wednesday. The company goes on to say that it’ll keep its eye on developments that pertain to governments pulling back restrictions that have hindered the industry. But even after that, CNN cites that the real threat is the possibility major studios will opt to not release major films for theatres that can only fill to a partial capacity.

“Even if governmental operating restrictions are lifted in certain jurisdictions, distributors may delay the release of new films until such time that operating restrictions are eased more broadly domestically and internationally, which may further limit our operations,” the company said.

With a liquid cash balance of $718.3 million,  AMC believes that it has enough money to get theaters back up and running by “summer or later.” With that being said, it adds that its success after that will be largely dependent on multiple other factors that are frankly out of their control.

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