(KTLA) – Cineworld, the bankrupt owner of Regal Cinemas, said Friday that shareholders may lose all their money regardless of any recovery plan for the company.
The theater chain had announced plans to file for bankruptcy in September 2022, on the heels of what the company said was a massive decline in the domestic box office during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s net debt at the time, excluding lease liabilities, was $4.84 billion, Variety reported.
Cineworld now says it has been in talks with “key stakeholders” — i.e., people it owes money to — to come up with a reorganization plan as a pathway to exiting bankruptcy.
Cineworld, the world’s second-largest movie theater chain after AMC, also said it had received offers from investors to buy some or all of its assets, but nothing that would trickle back to shareholders.
“Based on the proposals received to date, it is not expected that any sale transaction will provide any recovery for the holders of the company’s equity interests,” Cineworld said.
Cineworld’s troubles may be a sign of things to come within the theater industry, which has scrambled to figure out a sustainable business model amid rising popularity for streaming services and home entertainment.
Last month, Cineworld revealed in bankruptcy filings that 39 Regal theaters across the country would be closing for good in 2023.
The theaters planning to close are:
Tikahtnu Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX, in Anchorage
Berkeley 7, in Berkeley
Metro Point, in Costa Mesa
Parkway Plaza Stadium 18 & IMAX, in El Cajon
Escondido Stadium 16 & IMAX, in Escondido
Hemet Cinema 12, in Hemet
Sherman Oaks Galleria 16, in Los Angeles
Yorba Linda & IMAX, in Yorba Linda
SouthGlenn Stadium 14, in Centennial
Meadows Stadium 12, in Littleton
Shadowood 16, in Boca Raton
South Beach Stadium 18 & IMAX, in Miami
Keauhou Stadium, in Kailua Kona
Bolingbrook Stadium 12, in Bolingbrook
Round Lake Beach Stadium 18, in Round Lake Beach
Brunswick 10, in Brunswick
Bowie Stadium 14, in Bowie
Rockville Center Stadium 13, in Rockville
Fenway Stadium 13 & RPX, in Boston
Omaha Stadium 16, in Omaha
Village Square Stadium 18, in Las Vegas
Concord 10, in Concord
Hamilton Commons Stadium 14, in Mays Landing
Pohatcong Stadium 12, in Phillipsburg
Santa Fe Stadium 14, in Santa Fe
Elmwood Center 16, in Buffalo
Ithaca Mall Stadium 14, in Ithaca
Cortlandt Town Center, in Michigan Lake
Union Square Stadium 14, in New York
Greece Ridge Stadium 12, in Rochester
Transit Center Stadium 18 & IMAX, in Williamsville
Beaver Creek Stadium 12, in Apex
Montrose Movies Stadium 12, in Akron
Barn Plaza Stadium 14, in Doylestown
Oaks Stadium 24, in Oaks
Stonefield Stadium 14 & IMAX, in Charlottesville
Greenbrier Stadium 13, in Chesapeake
Meridian 16, in Seattle
Gallery Place Stadium 14
Cineworld, meanwhile, says it hopes to keep most of its global theater locations in operation.
Cineworld’s larger rival, AMC Theaters, so far has weathered the storm. But amid ongoing economic uncertainty and growing acceptance of home viewing, the industry will have to find a new batch of secret sauce to make average $10 ticket prices palatable for moviegoers.
Vivian Chow and Darcie Loreno of Nexstar’s KTLA contributed to this report.