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the coronavirus crisis

AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the world, could be out of cash by the end of 2020

The largest movie theater chain in the world is warning it could be out of cash by the end of 2020 or early 2021 as the industry is hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

AMC Theatres offered this bleak assessment of its financial state on Tuesday after movie studios in recent weeks have increasingly scrapped plans to release big blockbusters in theaters this year, CNN and Variety report.

"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," AMC said, per Variety.

After AMC closed its U.S. locations in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it reopened them where possible in anticipation of Christopher Nolan's Tenet in September, only for that film to disappoint at the domestic box office. Since then, as upcoming tentpoles like No Time to Die are delayed to 2021, the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States, Regal Cinemas, has decided to close its U.S. locations again. AMC has not yet made a similar move.

In some major cities like Los Angeles and New York City, theaters have not been permitted to reopen. AMC says that 494 of its almost 600 locations in the United States are open, but according to Variety, attendance at those theaters "is down approximately 85 percent."