AMC Theatres CEO: There Will Be “Much Collateral Damage” From Hollywood Strikes

AMC Theatres swung to a third-quarter profit on sharply higher overall revenues as the mega-exhibitor had Barbie and Oppenheimer on its screens through the summer and continues to benefit from an industry-wide box office recovery.

AMC posted net earnings at $12.3 million, compared to a year-earlier loss of $226.9 million, as revenue rose 45 percent to $1.4 billion, against a year-earlier $968.4 million. Analysts expected AMC to report revenues of $1.26 billion.

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AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron also expressed renewed concern about how the mega-exhibitor will make it through the dual Hollywood strikes as his company released its latest financial results. “The short-term impacts of the writers and actors strikes will cause additional and needless challenges for AMC in 2024. Without taking sides as to who is to blame and how the labor challenges should be resolved, we strongly encourage all the parties involved to come to the negotiating table with the intent of reaching an agreement immediately.”

The Hollywood strikes by screenwriters, earlier settled, and the ongoing actors labor action has disrupted the flow of movies to consumers as they go to the local multiplex or view tentpoles on their living room couches as movie projects have increasingly been pushed into 2024. And the major studios will need to reschedule their movie production and release slates when the current SAG-AFTRA labor action is resolved.

Aron added: “There has been and will be much collateral damage from these lengthy work stoppages. For the benefit of all involved in the movie ecosystem, this months-long disharmony needs to come to an end now. Whether one thinks of a studio executive or a union member in the creative community, it is ever so important that everyone in Hollywood returns to the task of creating world class entertainment that is admired and greatly enjoyed the world over.”

During its latest quarter, AMC Theatres saw a 38.4 percent gain in attendance year-over-year to 73.5 million patrons.

Earlier in the day, parent AMC Entertainment held its 2023 annual shareholders meeting as the cinema giant continues to evolve from the meme stock mania that AMC Theatres used to ride out the pandemic, to a more mainstream market stock.

That includes the mega-exhibitor’s AMC Theatres Distribution division grabbing attention when it lined up domestic and international partners to roll out The Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film worldwide.

During an after-market analyst call, CEO Aron said the cinema chain would continue to raise fresh cash, where possible, to run the business, a need Aron has long urged with successive capital raises to offset the company’s high debt load and disruption in its Hollywood movie pipeline from the pandemic and the dual actors and writers strikes.

“We will continue to seek equity capital when it appears smart to do so,” Aron said.

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