AMC Theatres Is Passing Coronavirus Cleaning Costs on to Customers

Reopening AMC Theatres in the midst of a pandemic will not come without its added expenses, and word is those extra costs are going to be coming out of the purses and wallets of consumers. With theaters particularly at risk with large groups of people gathering in close proximity, most theaters have been shuttered for months. Including AMC, many theater chains are getting ready to soon reopen with strict health and safety measures in place, ranging from frequent sterilization between screenings and limiting the capacity of filmgoers into the building.

While they will hopefully help to keep patrons safe, these new protocols will not be cheap, and the plan seems to be for the customers to pick up the tab. Speaking with investors, AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron recently said that these costs would be “passed on to the consumers,” meaning the price we pay for movie tickets or food and beverages from the concessions stand will be higher than what they were.

AMC renegotiating its debt recently also played a part in keeping the company afloat, otherwise it may not have survived closing all of its theaters for so many months straight this year. Aron also told investors that the company had lost more than $500 million over the past financial quarter, leaving AMC with a lot of catching up to do. “I think we’ve survived the corona crisis and now we’ve just got to get back to running the company really well,” Aron explained.

Additionally, AMC also negotiated a new deal with Universal to help generate some more income fior the theater chain. As a part of the deal, Univeral movies will play in theaters before being made available on home media after 17 days. At that time, AMC Theaters will receive 20 percent of the home media sales revenue. According to Aron, it’s likely that AMC’s competitors will follow suit with similar movie release plans. “I’m expecting that this is going to become an industry standard… I expect that some of our competitors will do this, if not all,” he said.

However, not every theater company is so sure. Regal’s parent company, Cineworld, took a much different stance speaking about the deal, referring to the agreement as the “wrong move at the wrong time.” The Walt Disney Company also chose to cut out the middleman with the announcement that they’re bringing the live-action Mulan remake straight to their own Disney+ streaming service for people to watch, rather than attempt to give the new movie a big screen release.

In any case, it hasn’t been an easy road to travel towards getting back to how things used to be in the movie business. Most major releases that were scheduled for this year have since been delayed to 2021 with the idea that these projects would be best enjoyed on large cinema screens. It’s clear that there are many, many people out there anxiously waiting for theaters to open again, so even with increased prices at AMC, the company shouldn’t have too much trouble filling their seats once their doors are back open. This news comes to us from Variety.

Jeremy Dick at Movieweb

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