AMC theaters told CNN today that they will be out of cash by the end of the year or early 2021. AMC says the only way to stay in business is to either take out loans in the hope of a turnaround next year or to increase ticket prices significantly. They are also exploring liquidation of some of the company’s assets and renegotiating leases and rents.
COVID has brought the film industry to a halt. Movies delayed, theaters closing their doors for safety, and viewers preferring to stay home have hit them all. With the delays, there are fewer movies to see at the theaters. Few have theatrical releases like Tenet and New Mutant, both with terrible sales. The government forced theaters to close when the pandemic began to ramp up. Most of AMC’s theaters are open again but limited to either 20% to 40% capacity. Unfortunately, they are not even reaching these limits.
Regal Theaters also announced the closure of all their theaters last week with hopes to return next year after the market rebounds. We also learned this week that Disney will be focusing on distribution through their Disney+ streaming service. The industry is changing faster than anticipated with the pandemic. We will see in the coming years what the new face of movies looks like.