IMAX was flexing while Cineworld, Regal Cinemas' parent company, filed for bankruptcy.
IMAX announced that it would increase its existing stock buyback program by another $200 million, equivalent to doubling its previous repurchase commitment. Since July 2017, IMAX has bought back roughly 10 million shares of its common stock for roughly $175 million, meaning the giant-screen company still has $225 million to spend on its own stock until next June.
The world's second-largest film exhibitor (with 9,139 screens across 747 sites, behind only AMC Entertainment in scope) began its Chapter 11 proceedings in Texas on November 8. So it was a different day for two of the major players in the industry.
For the record, we did not suggest that IMAX's announcement was intentionally scheduled to coincide with Cineworld's mourning; rather, we were pointing out the opposite Wednesdays: there are roughly 135 IMAX screens in Cineworld cinemas, mostly Regals. Now, had IMAX's news been an AMC announcement, we might have reacted differently about the coincidence. (At Wednesdays Bank of America Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, IMAX CFO Natasha Fernandes
Cineworld/Regal has just applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its theaters in the United States and the United Kingdom. Fortunately, AMC is in a very, very different position because retail investors supported us and allowed us to raise boatloads of money. Thank you, retail!
AMCs stock, which was saved in the midst of the epidemic by a grassroots movement on Reddit, has risen since Cineworld's Chapter 11 demise.
Cineworld/Regal has just applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its theaters in the United States and the United Kingdom. Fortunately, AMC is in a very, very different situation because retail investors supported us and allowed us to raise boatloads of money. Thank you, retail!
Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) on September 7, 2022
Cineworld is attempting to dissolve debt in a last-ditch effort to reorganize in a way that it doesnt completely vanish. The plan, which will include a real estate optimisation strategy (the British spelling, although theyre referring to U.S. locations), will be filed with the court in due course.
Cineworld expects to clear its Chapter 11 status in the first quarter of 2o23, with management and the board remaining in place, and the (digital) film reels turning. One of the main Chapter 11 benefits is the protection from lawsuits or creditor claims.
Cineworld lost $655.7 million in 2021, compared to $913.2 million in 2020, which illustrates how vital these social media apes (now APE owners!) were. The much smaller IMAX also lost money both years, but on a smaller scale.
Cineworld's incredible leadership is focused on transforming our business to thrive during the cinema industry's rebirth, according to Cineworld's CEO, in a statement accompanying the Chapter 11 announcement. We've gone through a traumatic time for our business, with the forced closure of cinemas and massive disruption to film schedules that have gotten to this point.
This latest step is part of our ongoing quest to strengthen our financial position and is aimed at a de-leveraging strategy that will enable us to continue to operate our aim to provide the finest cinema experiences for our customers through the most innovative screen formats and enhancements to our flagship cinemas.'
It's probably time to make some friends on Reddit, Mooky.