AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, the largest movie theatre chain in the world, raised concerns over its business amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Movie theatres have been shut around the world since mid-March to help contain the spread of novel coronavirus. (Image for representational purpose only)

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc said on Wednesday there are “substantial doubts” about its ability to continue operating, if the company is forced to keep its theatres closed for a longer period because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Movie theatres worldwide have been shut since mid-March to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and many potential box-offices draw such as Top Gun: Maverick, the new James Bond film No Time To Die and Walt Disney’s Mulan have been pushed later into the year.

In the United States, individual states are now considering when to allow businesses to reopen.

“We cannot predict when or if our business will return to normal levels,” the world’s largest movie theatre operator said in a regulatory filing.

The company, which operated about 996 theatres and 10,973 screens globally as of end-March, also warned that it may not have sufficient liquidity to tide over until its cash-generating operations are back to normal.

AMC said it had begun a ramp-up in cash spending as it aims for a summer reopening. The company had a cash balance of $718.3 million as of April 30, and has said it had enough liquidity to sustain the closures till the end of July.

However, the company raised fears that even after theatres reopen it may not have enough films to show and attendance will be further impacted as people may switch over to other forms of entertainment or be wary of health risks.

Shares of the company fell 3 per cent in trading before the bell.

The company also said it had expected to report a loss between $2.12 billion to $2.42 billion for the first quarter which ended on March 31, largely due to an impairment charge of about $2 billion related to assets and goodwill.

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