AMC Entertainment, the U.S. theater chain, reported a decline in earnings for the first quarter ending March 31, with a $941.5 million drop in revenue.
That's down from $1.2 billion year over year from 2019, according to the company's earnings report, released June 3.
The numbers were affected by the coronavirus, which has crippled theaters whose only revenue consisted of people coming in person to watch movies. When the pandemic shut down every public space used for entertainment reasons, theaters suffered. AMC was reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy, although executives said this was not true.
Amazon made headlines in May as it considered purchasing the chain, although nothing has been decided yet.
The earnings report states that the net loss for AMC during the first quarter was between $2.12 billion and $2.42 billion, compared to the net loss of $130.2 million from last year.
But AMC is planning its reopening for July, just in time for a number of anticipated movie titles like Christopher Nolan's “Tenet” on July 17, and Disney's “Mulan” on July 24, Reuters reported.
The theater chain said it will operate in accordance with social distancing guidelines as many companies have been limiting capacity with seats blocked off so no one has to sit too close and risk viral infection, according to Reuters.
AMC's usual challenges of trying to compete with streaming were only compounded by the pandemic. Movie theaters and studios tried to keep up by offering their own streaming services.
AMC will be conducting a review of its chains to see how many of them it will have to close permanently due to a lack of funding. Earlier this year, the company was unsure if it would be able to reopen at all.
In Norway, where AMC operates some theaters, some locations were able to reopen recently, Reuters reported. The reception was limited but positive, according to CEO Adam Aron.
"Even though those three theaters were limited in ticket sales to 25 percent of seat capacity, we sold 83 percent of our available seats this past weekend," he said, according to Reuters.
Aron added that food and beverage sales were also strong.