Odeon cinema owner warns of unsustainable path

Odeon cinema owner warns of unsustainable path

AMC Entertainment Holdings, the world’s largest movie theatre operator, has secured $100m (£76m) in emergency funds – but warned the money will only help it through another month.

The firm, owner of the UK’s Odeon Cinemas, said attendance has dropped 92% in the US and 86% internationally.

It is burning through $125m a month as concerns about Covid-19 shut some cinemas and keep audiences away.

Even after reopening, it said the growth of streaming posed a challenge.

Warner Bros this month said it planned to release all of its 2021 films online on the same day they are released to cinemas. They will air on the HBO Max streaming service, with which it shares a parent company.

Disney has also said it plans to push more of its films to its Disney+ streaming service.

AMC said those decisions may prompt other studios to adopt similar strategies.

“These practices have significantly impacted our revenues and are expected to continue to have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations going forward,” it said in a US regulatory filing that accompanied the funding announcement.

AMC said to remain “viable” through 2021 it would need to raise at least $750m – and possibly more.

“Our current cash burn rates are not sustainable,” it said,

The $100m emergency loan comes from Mudrick Capital Management, a US-based investor focused on distressed debt. The company already holds some of AMC’s roughly $5.5bn in debt, $100m of which Mudrick will convert into company shares as part of the deal.

At the end of last year, AMC operated more than 1,000 locations globally, including 636 in the US and 112 in the UK.

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