AMC Entertainment lost $561.2 million during a quarter where the world’s largest exhibitor’s cinemas were closed to moviegoers and virtually its entire staff was laid off or furloughed. Revenues at the company topped out at $18.9 million, a 98% plunge from the year-ago period. AMC also reported a loss of $5.44 per share. It had logged a profit of $49 million in the year-ago period, a time before global pandemics posed an existential threat to cinemas.
Coronavirus has decimated AMC’s business, raising questions about its financial viability. The company recently renegotiated its sizable debt with a bond exchange, which it says will give it the liquidity it needs to stay in operation through the public health crisis. AMC also made headlines with its recent deal with Universal Studios, which will allow the movie company to debut its films on premium video-on-demand within 17 days of their release in theaters. The companies say that the deal marks an important evolution in the way movies are distributed, but critics argue that it will dampen theatrical attendance.
AMC’s revenues beat Wall Street estimates even as its losses were steeper than anticipated. Analysts projected that the company would post revenues of $11.9 million on losses of $4.27 per share. AMC’s stock was up nearly 2% in after-hours trading.
The exhibition sector had hoped to have a late-summer revival, but those plans were upset after coronavirus cases surged in parts of the U.S., leading Warner Bros. to push back the release of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” into September.
“It should be no surprise to anyone that with our operations shut the world over, and almost no revenues coming in the door, this was the most challenging quarter in the 100-year history of AMC,” said Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC, in a statement. “That is why the progress the entire AMC team made since the second quarter began is all the more important and impressive in working to achieve three key priorities: to dramatically reduce operating and capital expenditures, to strengthen our liquidity position and to set plans in motion for the successful reopening of our theaters as soon as it would be wise to do so.”