AMC plans to reopen theaters in July, reports $2.2 billion quarterly loss

AMC Entertainment Holdings, the largest movie theater operator in the world, expects to fully resume theater operations in July, according to an earnings release filed Tuesday.

“It’s a fluid situation … many things can change between now and July,” said Adam Aron, CEO and president of the Leawood, Kansas-based cinema chain.

Having shuttered its global operations in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, AMC reported net losses of nearly $2.18 billion in the first quarter of 2020. The number skyrocketed compared to the first three months of 2019, when AMC’s net loss was nearly $130 million.

In a filing last week, the company reported “substantial doubt” about its ability to survive the costs of the pandemic.

In the first quarter of 2020, the company’s total revenue was roughly $941.5 million, 22% lower than the first quarter last year. During the first two months of 2020, revenue grew by 10% compared to 2019, the company said. But revenue dried up on March 17, when AMC closed all its theaters across the globe.

“After starting the year with two solid months of revenue growth compared to last year, in mid-March we were forced to pivot the entire company to respond to the effects of the pandemic,” Aron said.

The company has since focused its efforts on reducing cash burn by furloughing executives and employees, and negotiating with landlords over deferral and reduction of rent payments.

“We chased away 90% of cash spending in the blink of an eye,” Aron said. “We furloughed about 35,000 people because we knew with certainty that we had no other choice.”

AMC said it has already reopened about 10 theaters in Europe, and it outlined steps for reopening more broadly.

The company announced that it is partnering with cleaning products manufacturer Clorox on plans for theater cleaning. AMC is also consulting with public health officials on safety measures for customers and employees.

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