AMC Theaters is Doubtful About the Future

Published on June 3, 2020

For months now, there has been talks about the end of AMC Theaters. AMC Theaters is the largest theater chain in the United States, but due to the coronavirus, the already struggling business has plummeted. Questions swirled whether AMC Theaters could or will return, which is a question that remains today.

What’s the Latest?

Compared to 2019, the box-office will go down a staggering 50% this year. Right now, AMC Theaters will lose between $2.1 billion to $2.4 billion in its first quarter. Since March, the theater chain has generated next to zero revenue. AMC Theaters is doing awful right now and has doubts about returning fully operational. In a statement, a rep for the theater chain told CNN:

“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. We believe we have the cash resources to reopen our theatres and resume our operations this summer or later. 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.”

Look What Happened in China

China is reopening their movie theaters, but a large number of them will not return. Over 5,000 theaters may be permanently closed following the ongoing effects of the coronavirus. More than likely, we’ll see a similar effect in the United States. If AMC Theaters doesn’t think they’ll make it back to usual, what chances does that leave the little guys? 

Cinemark is Hopeful…

Strangely, CineMark is hopeful about the future. So hopeful, in fact, they’re not planning on making people wear masks when they return to their theaters next month. CineMark will encourage customers to wear masks, but it won’t be mandatory like it will be for employees. The decision has already drawn bafflement around the web. AMC doesn’t seem to be thinking ahead as much as CineMark, possibly because their troubles are from over from the sound of it.

Will Tenet Save Theaters?

Theater owners around the country and globe are praying for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. It may be the first big movie of the summer and the movie to reopen theaters. The release date is July 17th. Unrealistic? Maybe, but CineMark CEO, Mark Zoradi, said his theater is optimistic:

“We’ve been in close contact with Warner Bros. and they remain optimistic and positive, as well as Christopher Nolan, about the July 17 opening. Of course, it depends on the continued positive movement due to the decline of COVID-19 and government restrictions being reduced…. We have been intensely focused in developing enhanced health and safety protocols, understanding that these factors will weigh heavily on the confidence and peace of mind of our employees, guests and community as we reopen our theaters. [We will be] requiring all employees to wear face masks and encouraging guests to do the same.”

Without question, the brass at AMC are in need of Tenet and the only other major release scheduled for July, Mulan. Both movies would dominate the screens at movie theaters, considering they’ll have next to zero competition. Hopefully, Christopher Nolan’s epic can help theaters as much as Warner Bros. and he hopes it will. They need the help. If any movie fans want to help support theaters, gift cards are a way to go.

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Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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