AMC Theaters Condemn WarnerMedia's HBO Max Plans As Theater Stock Plummets After Announcement

AMC Theaters Condemn WarnerMedia's HBO Max Plans As Theater Stock Plummets After Announcement

In 2021, the likes of The Suicide Squad and Godzilla vs. Kong will head to HBO Max and theaters at the same time, and it probably won't surprise you to learn that AMC is unhappy with the news...

Yesterday, the news broke that WarnerMedia will release all of Warner Bros.' 2021 movies in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. That's a game-changing decision, and one that's likely to be imitated by other studios (at least those with their own streaming services) as they face a year which will see exhibitors struggle to attract customers even with a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon.

Now, AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron has condemned the move, something which won't come as a huge surprise after the struggling chain initially decided to boycott Universal's movies in response to the decision to shorten the theatrical window; Warner Bros., however, just demolished it! 

"Clearly, Warner Media intends to sacrifice a considerable portion of the profitability of its movie studio division, and that of its production partners and filmmakers, to subsidize its HBO Max start up," Aron said in a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter"As for AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense."

"We will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business. We have already commenced an immediate and urgent dialogue with the leadership of Warner on this subject."

It's been said that theater chains were given only an hour's notice, but the decision has been made, and seems unlikely to change now. Following the announcement (via Variety), AMC's stock fell by 17% on the same day they announced plans to sell 200 million shares in a bid to raise $844 million in equity. Even IMAX took a hit, falling by a noteworthy 7.3% after the news broke.

Cinemark fell by more than 21%, while the Marcus Corporation suffered an 11% decline. 

It's clear that the film industry will be forever changed by this decision, and it's one theaters will be forced to come to terms with for at least the next year. Whether they'll survive remains to be seen. 

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