The other day, AMC Theatres released an SEC filing that basically said the company is going to run out of cash by the end of 2020 or early 2021 if the box office doesn’t improve over the next few months. And guess what? With “Soul” moving to Disney+, “Coming 2 America” heading to Amazon, and the major studio offerings for the next couple of months reduced to about four films (for now), things aren’t looking great for theater owners. Now, according to financial analysts, AMC filing for bankruptcy is beginning to look inevitable.
Speaking to Deadline, a Wall Street analyst spoke about the future of AMC Theatres, and it appears there’s really no other way to put it—the world’s largest cinema chain is likely going to file for bankruptcy soon. And soon means by the beginning of 2021.
“I really don’t know how they don’t go bankrupt,” said the analyst. “They should be out of cash by the end of January. And most companies don’t file when they are minus ten million in cash. The attorneys have to be paid.”
After the recent delay of “No Time to Die” from November 2020 to April 2021, Alan Gould of Loop Capital made some forecasts about the next couple of years at the box office, and they’re not good. Not good, at all.
The analyst predicted that the box office would fall 95% in the third quarter and 85% in the fourth quarter. If true, you’re looking at a total domestic box office of $2.4 billion this year and $8.6 billion in 2021. These numbers are well below $11.3 billion from last year. He also predicted that the US will drop from 41,000 total screens to 36,000 over the next couple of years. For a business that’s barely holding on, as it is, these are results that spell doom for theaters.
Of course, as we’ve seen with corporations in the past, bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean “out of business.” There are financial maneuvers that can happen that could keep AMC around for years to come. That being said, it’s also very possible that if AMC files bankruptcy, the chain could fold and the world’s largest theater company could be sold off or gone for good.
Basically, in 10 years, we could be talking about AMC and the era of the multiplex much in the same way as we describe VHS and Blockbuster Video to Gen Z.