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AMC Theatres Miss Recovery Forecasts for Q1, Post $567 Million Loss

Chain posts $148 million in revenue during first quarter of 2021 as theaters reopen nationwide

AMC Theaters has missed its projections in the first quarter of 2021, losing $567 million as it faces a long road to recovery even with its theaters reopened in the U.S..

The world’s largest theater chain reported $148 million in revenue this past quarter, down 84% year-over-year and missing projections of $157 million in revenue.

Despite this, CEO Adam Aron insisted that the worst is behind AMC, pointing to the efforts that the company has made to ensure that the chain would maintain cash flow until theaters could reopen. The chain got some unexpected help from day traders and Reddit users that picked AMC as part of a campaign to boost the stock of companies that were being short-sold, allowing the company to use the stock surge to reduce its debt load by over $600 million in debt.

“We started 2021 with the same conviction, drive and commitment that saw AMC successfully navigate the most challenging 12-month period in AMC’s century-long history. We finally can now say that we are looking at an increasingly favorable environment for movie-going and for AMC as a company over the coming few months,” Aron said.

Aron pointed to an increasingly busy movie slate that theaters will be able to capitalize on over the course of 2021, starting with a Memorial Day weekend slate that includes Paramount’s “A Quiet Place — Part II.” He also points to the loosening restrictions on movie theaters as the vaccination campaign in the U.S. has rolled out since the start of the year and increased concessions sales they have seen since reopening, which he believes will lead to rapid recovery in revenue once more major blockbusters hit theaters.

“”The circumstances of AMC are so radically different and radically improved than they were just months ago,” he said. “People want the whole enchilada when it comes to the theatrical experience. They want the big screen. They want popcorn, soda, all the concessions. If people were buying two items before, they were buying three now.”

“I would expect that we see elevated food and beverage sales for a long time. Will it stay that way for a long time? We’re about to find out together. But we’re pretty optimistic that at least as the recovery begins, food and beverage spending will be increased compared to routine times.”