Said to be on the brink of bankruptcy, the country’s biggest movie theater chain, AMC Entertainment, could have an alternate ending if rumors pan out that Amazon is looking to buy the company.
The parent company to the U.K.’s Odeon Cinemas Group, AMC saw a 50 percent surge in its share price on the unconfirmed news that the eCommerce giant is in talks to buy the movie chain.
Sources told the Daily Mail that possible buyout discussions took place with top executives from both companies. It is unknown whether the talks are still in the works or whether a deal is imminent.
Sources told Deadline Hollywood that there is no deal and the rumors are false.
Amazon streaming rival Netflix has already purchased at least one movie theater — the Paris Theater in New York. Amazon has already won its first Oscar for the 2017 film “Manchester By The Sea.”
Every movie theater has been hit hard by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, and many had already been struggling due to increased competition from streaming channels. Closed since mid-March, AMC was said to be in talks to explore bankruptcy with the law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges.
Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, which bought AMC in 2012, said the bankruptcy rumors are not true.
AMC raised $500 million in April in an attempt to stay solvent amid the crisis.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for global media measurement company Comscore, told Today last month that movie theaters had been doing well before the pandemic forced closures worldwide. He said the North American industry normally takes in $600 million to $700 million “in a slow month.”
The financial picture for AMC was looking up in December 2019, as its AMC Stubs A-List subscription service surpassed more than 600,000 members in six months. In addition to accessing free movies, A-List members get perks that include express service, free upgrades on popcorn and soda, and more.