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AMC Theatres Has 'Substantial Doubt' It Will Survive Lockdown

AMC Theatres Has 'Substantial Doubt' It Will Survive Lockdown
AMC Theatres has warned that it might never come back to life after the government response to the coronavirus pandemic forced it to shutter thousands of locations in the U.S. and abroad.
The company, which is the largest movie theater chain in the world, is projecting a first-quarter net loss of as much $2.4 billion, according to a regulatory filing released Wednesday.
That does not include the months of April, May and now June in which AMC locations have collected dust.
AMC stated in its filing that its first-quarter revenue of $941 million had fallen 22 percent from last year, when the company generated $1.2 billion in the first quarter.
“We are generating effectively no revenue,” the company said in the filing.
AMC further warned that even if lockdown restrictions are lifted nationwide and internationally, allowing people to return to its seats and concessions counters, it might not be enough for its survival.
The company cited the effects of lockdowns on the broader motion picture industry when explaining its dire financial situation.
“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,” AMC said.
Essentially, theaters now are platforms for films that have either been delayed or are currently not being made, which could compound the issue.
AMC announced its first-quarter revenue was generated from 996 locations and 10,973 screens in 15 countries.
That included 630 locations in the U.S. and 366 locations in Europe and Saudi Arabia.
AMC will officially release its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, according to a news release to investors.
The news of AMC’s potential coming troubles comes as the film industry has essentially paused production on projects amid shutdowns.
USA Today reported that filmmakers have submitted a plan to lawmakers in California, New York and other locations to begin work on projects, as the broader entertainment industry has also been closed since mid-March.
The proposed measures include smaller film crews, auditions behind glass and a COVID-19 compliance officer on every TV and film set.
Still, traditional movie chains seeking to stay afloat can probably count out any assistance from Hollywood’s major filmmakers.
Vanity Fair reported that some of Hollywood’s biggest stars might choose to refrain from returning to work quickly when the film industry does resume operating.
Actress Charlize Theron told the outlet she will not be in a rush to accept new film roles anytime soon.
“I have two small kids. I’ve had these recurring dreams — or terrors, I should say — that I somehow stupidly got [coronavirus] and brought it back to my kids,” she told Vanity Fair.
“I don’t want to mess with this stuff. I feel like there’s a sense of responsibility on everybody’s part to just realize that,” she said.
Liberal activist and film director Spike Lee said he does not think traditional film production and viewing will return in the foreseeable future.
“They ain’t doing a thing until the vaccine,” he told Vanity Fair. “I know I’m not going to a movie theater. I know I’m not going to a Broadway show. I know I’m not going to Yankee Stadium.”
Lee also urged his colleagues in Hollywood to be cautious about resuming operations.

“Corona is a b—-. Corona is not playing. You f— around, you’re going to get killed, you’re going to die. I’m not ready to go,” he said.

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