Cinema chain AMC warns it may not survive the pandemic

04 Juin, 2020, 02:52 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • AMC Theatre

Entertainment Holdings Inc on Wednesday signaled "substantial doubts" about its ability to continue operating, if the company was forced to keep its theaters closed for a longer period because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AMC Theatres and two other national theater chains, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, said they won't reopen until June or July at the earliest, even if they're allowed to sooner in other states. Those release dates could change - the latest "Tenet" trailer simply said "Coming to Theaters" - as studios appear more confident they can release films in the fall with titles like "Halloween Kills" in October; "Black Widow" and "No Time to Die" in November; and "Top Gun: Maverick" in December.

Entertainment added it believes it has the cash resources to open theaters "this summer or later". AMC noted that people may be afraid to go to theaters, but hopes the desire for social distancing is temporary and that people will want to go to the movies again.

Apart from the pandemic and its economic aftershocks, the movie business in the US and Canada has benefited from rising ticket prices, but admissions have been gradually declining since 2005. The box office has become home mostly to blockbuster films: Sequels, remakes and superhero movies dominate. But Comcast's NBCUniversal released "Trolls World Tour" on video on demand in April, triggering an angry response from the theater industry, and Disney will release "Artemis Fowl" to its streaming service, Disney Plus, in June, rather than theaters. The animated film had a record-setting digital debut upon release in April.

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Theater chains are also concerned that film studios could push more movies straight to the streaming services that they own. Since the pandemic shut down theatres, entertainment companies have delayed most movies.

AMC, a publicly traded company controlled by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, has 1,000 theatres in the USA and Europe.

Cinemark, another major movie chain that is on more solid financial footing, plans to begin reopening US movie theaters on June 19.

Cinemark, another major movie chain, plans to begin reopening USA movie theaters on June 19. It said in a Wednesday filing that it believes it has enough cash to last it the rest of the year, even if its theatres remain shut.

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