The Coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses hard this year, both big and small. The movie theater industry has been particularly struggling, with the tight quarters and large numbers of guests in one room preventing them from reopening under most local policies. The big releases have either been delayed or moved to digital/On-Demand release, meaning that theater chains like AMC are “generating effectively no revenue.”
In a recent statement, AMC has claimed they are doubtful that business will return to normal for the company. This year since closures began worldwide, the company has lost over $2 billion. Currently their company cash balance has dropped to $718.3 million. Salaries have been cut for executives, staff furloughed, and negotiations made with landlords all as means to cut back their losses during closure.
The hopes were for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet to be the big release that would draw crowds back to theaters, but with cases of COVID-19 still on the rise, it looks like the film may need to be delayed again. Of course, for the theaters to reopen, they need titles like Tenet that are big enough to make reopening worth the trouble.
“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 commented about the possibility of reopening needing to align with film’s releases.
AMC claimed they do currently have the resources to open in the summer, but are monitoring the situation to decide the best next steps. “Our liquidity needs thereafter will depend, among other things, on the timing of a full resumption of operations, the timing of movie releases and our ability to generate revenues,” the company added. AMC not only has to deal with the pandemic, but also to compete with digital releases and the numerous streaming services.