Variety reported on an investor call yesterday that laid bare the efforts to re-open, the cost, and where that bill will eventually land. All eyes are on AMC as they struggle with debt while attempting to re-open in the face of mounting criticism over their deal with Universal.
While theaters have no choice, for their own survival, to re-open even as governments and the media worldwide talk of a second wave of Coronavirus they will need to build consumer confidence. To do this there will be increased safety procedures in place including heavy sanitization of all theaters and new staff guidelines.
All of these new procedures don’t come cheap. On the call the CEO of AMC, Adam Aron, was blunt in his assessment at where these costs will land. He confirmed that the chain is opening its doors again this month and added that costs for all these safety procedures will be:
“…passed on to the consumers”.
AMC is carrying billions in debt so needs to put it’s cashflow back in working order as soon as possible. Cinemas are set to re-open in the United States from August 21st. The explosion in home streaming across the globe during the pandemic, the Universal deal, consumer fear and no end in sight to COVID19 are the headwinds the industry needs to cope with.