AMC Theaters Have Lost An Insane Amount Of Money Since The Movies Closed

Scream 2 movie theater scene

Nearly every business and corner of the economy has been affected by the global pandemic in some way. However, businesses that are built around bringing groups of people together are the ones hit the hardest as they had to completely shut down. This includes theme parks, and also movie theaters. Exactly how much damage will be done to these business is unclear, but North America's largest movie theater chain, AMC, has posted a loss of $2.4 billion as a result of its theaters being closed.

Certainly, in absolute dollars, that's no small amount of money, and even for a company like AMC, it's concerning. According to THR, AMC is admitting that its ability to "continue as a going concern" is in doubt under these circumstances. Translation: The largest theater chain in America could go out of business.

AMC going out of business would have massive repercussions both big and small. For starters, it would put all the employees at the 380 locations out of work. It would also have a major impact on the moviegoing options for a lot of fans. And while AMC is the largest theater chain in the U.S. it's far from the only one, we can expect that the likes of Regal and Cinemark are in similar financial situations. Billions have been lost by just this one industry.

While the numbers are dire, they're not necessarily a shock. AMC Theaters had previously said that the company had enough credit to make it through November, but if the current situation lasted beyond that, restructuring would be necessary.

Right now, all signs point to theaters beginning to reopen in July, but that won't necessarily save the situation. Odds are that theaters, like theme parks and other locations reopening to crowds, will have to open to limited capacity in order to allow for social distancing, so even when ticket sales recommence, they'll be a fraction of what they were before the closure, even assuming crowds are willing to come back. By November it's possible that things will be back to normal, but right now it's impossible to know how likely that is.

There's also the fact that AMC won't be offering all major film releases when they reopen. Following the decision of Universal to release Trolls World Tour at home rather than in theaters, and then to double down by saying that early On-Demand releases would become a regular part of the studio's offerings, AMC has said they will no longer screen Universal films in its theaters. While such a decision will certainly hurt Universal's bottom line as well, it will also impact the theaters.

We could very well see the landscape of movie exhibition change drastically when this is all said and done. Even if no major theaters go out of business entirely, many locations may need to close for the larger company to survive financially.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.