AMC Theatres Furloughs 600 Employees In Kansas HQ Amid Coronavirus Crisis; Chain Must “Preserve Cash” To “Reopen Our Doors” – Update

AMC Theatres, Breaking News, coronavirus, Coronavirus Box Office, Exhibition, Film News

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline hears that the biggest exhibitor in the world, AMC Theatres, has furloughed 600 employees in their Leawood, KS home office.

Health insurance will remain intact for all of them, however, for those not receiving any cushion, they’ll have to figure out a way to pay for their policies during the time that the chain is dormant.

The breakdown for furlough compensation is as follows from what I gather: 4 days per week employees receive 80% of their salary, 2 days per week employees get 40% of their salary, and zero days per week receive zero salary.

The chain announced on March 16, that they’re closing their 630 U.S. chain for six to 12 weeks.

At the time, AMC boss Adam Aron said, “We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams that the new CDC guidelines that Americans should not gather in groups larger than 10 people make it impossible to open our theatres. Still, the health and wellbeing of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else. We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and look forward to the day we can again delight moviegoers nationwide by reopening AMC movie theatres in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local health authorities.”

AMC New York city theater coronavirus shutdown

Prior to today’s news, AMC Entertainment had furloughed 26,000 of its 27,000 employees, largely cinemas staffs. In a CNBC interview last Thursday, AMC chief Adam Aron said: “We’re paying them as much as we can possibly afford to pay them. For those in the health plan, we’re keeping them in the health plan with their benefits active for the full time that we’re shut. But my focus is as much making sure there’s a company for them to come back to…I’d like to make sure that this company, which has been strong for 100 years, stays strong.”

It has yet to become apparent how the $2 trillion stimulus package will serve the bigger circuits. Details I understand are forthcoming, though NATO Boss John Fithian remains confident that exhibition will be deemed a distressed business by the U.S. Treasury.

Many major studios have pushed their big releases even deeper into the calendar, i.e. yesterday, Warner Bros. pushed Wonder Woman 1984, which was set to fire off the summer on June 5 after Black Widow was undated, to Aug. 14. President Donald Trump has expressed that he would love for the U.S. economy to reopen by Easter weekend, April 10-12, but the question remains whether local and state ordinances, such as New York which counts the most coronavirus cases at 30,8K, and is a box office capital, will be willing to go along. And if theaters do re-open, is it at 50% capacity levels and staggered seating? Which distributors will be fearless about dipping their toes with new product on the marquee first? Because all these holdover titles from winter, i.e. Bloodshot, Bad Boys for Life, Invisible Man, etc will have already been available in homes.

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