The cabinet did not hesitate to reason. With COVID-19 infections on the rise in the United States and studios releasing films simultaneously or mainly on streaming services, theater attendance is a faint shadow of itself. Even with 404 of the 594 U.S. theaters open, ticket sales fell 92% year over year in October and November. People are not willing to risk their health just to watch a movie on the big screen, and studios are increasingly reluctant to delay films to ensure theatrical premieres only.
AMC is not alone. Regal said it would be close all American theaters in October in response to the pandemic.
It won’t be surprising that AMC is given a lifeline to keep operating. Despite this, the very prospect of the collapse of one of the country’s largest theater operators is significant. This could significantly affect the media landscape by reducing access to movies on the big screen and pushing more viewers to streaming.