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World's Biggest Theater Chain Almost Out of Money

AMC says it could be broke by end of 2020
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2020 1:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – More bad news from the entertainment industry as the pandemic grinds on: AMC Theatres says it is running out of money and unless things change, its reserves could be used up by the end of the year or early 2021. Studios have delayed the release of major films like Black Widow and No Time to Die, and AMC says the "reduced movie slate for the fourth quarter," along with low attendance, is to blame for the cash crunch, CNN reports. AMC, the world's biggest theater chain, has now reopened around 500 of its 600 or so US theaters with a reduced capacity of between 20% and 40%, but many of those seats are not being filled. The company said Tuesday that attendance in recent weeks is down 85% year-on-year.

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The company said that since its operating costs are more than what it is taking in and the future outlook is very uncertain, it is considering moves including selling theaters, renegotiating leases, and exploring joint ventures, Variety reports. "There is no assurance that we will be able to achieve more normalized levels of attendance ... and our ability to be predictive is uncertain due to the unknown magnitude and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic," the company warned. It said that to keep going beyond the next few months, it will "require additional sources of liquidity or increases in attendance levels." (Hundreds of the Cineworld movie chain's theaters in the US and the UK closed earlier this month.)

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