Few people were expecting the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic to still be having such a major impact on everyday life as we approach the tail end of 2020, and many business and industries have been catastrophically affected by the various restrictions put in place around the world. One of the hardest hit sectors has been the movie business, with tons of cinemas still remaining shuttered and losing out on desperately needed income.
AMC Theatres, the country’s largest chain, were in serious trouble earlier this year when it was reported that the company might be forced to close for good. There was brief optimism during the summer when several titles scored a theatrical release, and AMC hoped to be fully open again by July, but that obviously hasn’t happened.
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As it stands, there are barely any major movies coming to theaters before the end of the year, with the majority of them having packed up and fled to 2021. Furthermore, reports were circulating several weeks back that AMC could run out of money in short order, and now the company themselves have confirmed that bankruptcy is once again a real possibility after filing a motion to sell fifteen million shares just to stay afloat.
“Given the reduced movie slate for the fourth quarter, in the absence of significant increases in attendance from current levels or incremental sources of liquidity, at the existing cash burn rate, the Company anticipates that existing cash resources would be largely depleted by the end of 2020 or early 2021,” the company said in a statement. “Thereafter, to meet its obligations as they become due, the Company will require additional sources of liquidity or increases in attendance levels. The required amounts of additional liquidity are expected to be material.”
A lot of people are fearing the very worst for the theatrical experience, especially with more and more studios sending their most anticipated movies straight to digital. The small number of blockbusters hitting the big screen over the next couple of months won’t be enough to save an industry that’s already lost out on countless billions of dollars in revenue, and we could soon be facing a seismic shift in how audiences consume Hollywood’s highest profile projects.