the coronavirus crisis
Even as upcoming films face new delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AMC Theaters' CEO says he's feeling "optimistic and encouraged," as the company has avoided imminent bankruptcy.
AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the world, announced Monday it has raised $917 million since last month, which it said "should allow the company to make it through this dark coronavirus-impacted winter."
The announcement came after warnings from AMC last year that it could soon run out of cash, as the movie theater industry was hit hard by the pandemic. But CEO Adam Aron declared Monday that "today, the sun is shining on AMC," and he said that "any talk of an imminent bankruptcy for AMC is completely off the table." Aron further discussed the news in an interview with Variety and expressed hope that moviegoing could return to normal later in 2021 as COVID-19 vaccines roll out in the United States.
"As we look ahead into summer and next fall, movies will get released again and consumers will go back to movie theaters again," Aron said. "So as I look ahead, I'm quite optimistic and encouraged."
In a securities filing, AMC said it has enough money to "keep running until July if attendance does not begin to recover, and the full year if it does," The New York Times reports. The Times notes this was the fifth time AMC has avoided bankruptcy in less than one year.
This comes after numerous films postponed their release dates once again, most notably the highly-anticipated James Bond film No Time to Die, which was delayed from April to October. More delays are expected to follow, and it's unclear whether big movies will return exclusively to theaters on a regular basis earlier than the fall. Even once blockbusters begin to hit theaters again, though, it's an open question how long it may take for consumers to return at pre-pandemic levels.