As the world tries to get back to its new normal, companies that are tied to the entertainment industry are doing everything in their power to stay afloat until crowds are safe enough and willing enough to gather en masse for fun and distraction. Movie theaters, in particular, are struggling with obstacles presented by isolation and social distancing, but one major chain thinks it has found the life preserver that will help it stay afloat in these treacherous waters.
AMC Theatres has faced all sorts of uncertainty since closing its locations. But a report in The Hollywood Reporter suggests a ray of hope for the massive chain, as it’s being reported that they will raise $500 million from a private offering to offset the company’s debt and increase its liquidity. In a statement, AMC Theaters explained:
Due to significant actions taken by the company, we believe our current cash balance is sufficient to withstand a global suspension of operations until a partial reopening in July. After giving effect to the proposed notes offering, we believe the company will have sufficient liquidity to withstand a global suspension of operations until a partial reopening ahead of Thanksgiving.
That mention of a “partial reopening in July” lines up with what Cinemark stated earlier, that they also plan to open some of its location in July as the industry inches toward normalcy. What that new normal may look like remains a mystery. Will theaters open to half capacity, allowing for social distancing in a multiplex? And what movies will be available if and when theaters open in July?
Right now, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is holding on to its July 17 release date. But in the same statement, AMC Theatres laments the decisions by Universal and Disney to send titles like Trolls World Tour and Artemis Fowl to streaming services instead of maintaining the exclusive theatrical-run agreement.
Some movie studios have also reduced or eliminated the theatrical exclusive release window as theaters are not operating. The longer and more severe the pandemic, including repeat or cyclical outbreaks beyond the one we are currently experiencing, the more severe the adverse effects will be on our business, results of operations, liquidity, cash flows, financial condition, access to credit markets and ability to service our existing and future indebtedness.
Of course, the virus dictates our course of action. These are preliminary plans being put in place should we reach a stage, as a country, where we can implement returns to normal practices, which (for us) revolve around going to the movie theaters to see first-run feature films.
It’s encouraging to hear that AMC figured out a way to stave off those credit warnings from weeks ago, and we can only hope (for the benefit of AMC’s employees nationwide) that we’re all back in a theater together, very soon.