AMC Attempts to Make Up for Business Loss Amidst the Pandemic
If you’re missing the smell of popcorn and the communal laughs and screams of a crowd of strangers as you share a cinematic experience, you might be able to get some temporary relief.
Movie theaters have been, understandably, hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shares of AMC, the world’s largest theater chain, have gone down 60% this year (Reuters). The company is considering a $119.5 million in third-quarter revenue this year, compared to a $1.316 billion third-quarter revenue in 2019 (Yahoo! Entertainment).
AMC Entertainment predicts that it will most likely lose all existing cash resources by the end of the year if current trends persist. These theaters, however, are relying on the nostalgia of going to the movies with friends and family in an attempt to salvage their business.
The company expects to have 530 theaters open by the end of the month, in accordance with guidelines imposed by each state. Yet, despite these re-openings, audiences have still been thin due to infection fears and the delays of major studio releases, such as the new James Bond movie No Time to Die, Black Widow, and Dune. Since the re-opening of AMC’s theaters, audience attendance has gone down by 85% in comparison to last year. In a time of persistent social distancing and health concerns, movie-goers are not too keen on sitting inside in such close proximity to dozens of people for multiple hours at a time.
In another attempt to make up for its business losses, AMC is offering a movie theater rental starting at only $99+ tax. Movie-goers can purchase an entire “Safe & Clean™ auditorium” for a personal screening or private party for up to 20 people. AMC is offering a slew of movies available for the private screenings, including Jurassic Park (1993), Tenet (2020), The New Mutants (2020), and The Conjuring (2013). Though not every AMC theater is offering this option, there are still dozens of locations across the country to choose from.
AMC has implemented a new set of health and safety precautions to make its theatres accessible to the public. Masks will be required upon entry to the theatre, but may be removed inside of the auditorium.
The company hopes that this offer will attract enough consumers who are unsatisfied with viewing exclusively at-home and want to regain the full movie-going experience in a safe and healthy manner, to compensate for a sufficient amount of financial loss.
Will AMC’s offering work, saving the theaters that so many film-lovers appreciate and yearn for? Only time, and the progression of the pandemic, will tell.