The World’s Second Biggest Theater Chain Is Filing for Bankruptcy

Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld is preparing to file for bankruptcy within the next few weeks, after the post-pandemic return to cinemas didn’t prove as profitable as expected.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the London-based Cineworld is expected to file for bankruptcy in both the UK and US having amassed $4.8 billion in debt. It operates more than 9,000 screens in 751 locations around the world, including Picturehouse and Cineworld cinemas in the UK and Ireland, Cinema City in Europe, Yes Planet in Israel, and Regal Cinemas in the U.S. It is the second largest theater chain in the world, following AMC, which has weathered post-pandemic issues partly because of becoming a meme stock.

The company was allegedly relying on blockbuster films including The Batman, Top Gun: Maverick and Thor: Love and Thunder to bolster cinema admission sales but the current numbers are lower than anticipated. Cineworld also commented that there simply aren’t enough films scheduled to be released in the coming months, meaning a positive turn in profits isn’t expected until the end of 2022.

“Despite a gradual recovery of demand since reopening in April 2021, recent admission levels have been below expectations,” Cineworld said in a statement earlier this week.

“These lower levels of admissions are due to a limited film slate that is anticipated to continue until November 2022 and are expected to negatively impact trading and the group’s liquidity position in the near term.”

The company, officially Cineworld Group Plc, is currently speaking with lawyers from Kirkland and Ellis LLP and consultants from AlixPartners to assist with its filing for bankruptcy. It also filed for bankruptcy during the height of COVID-19 in 2020 but was saved thanks to a lifeline from creditors.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.

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