Movie Studios Wisely Avoiding Worst Possible Investment: Movie Theaters During A Pandemic

For most of the lifetime of the cinema medium, movie studios were not allowed to own movie theaters. A New York judge struck that ruling down in August, but, thus far, studios don’t seem to be taking the bait. The CEOs of Warner Bros. and Universal Studios said this past week that they have “no plans” to do so, Deadline reports.

“We have no plans to do that currently,” said Universal chairman Donna Langley when asked if her company was interested in buying up movie theaters in the struggling industry. “We have no plans either,” added Warner Bros. chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff. The two were speaking at a Milken Institute Global Conference virtual panel. Sarnoff laughed as she answered, Deadline reports.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought the theater industry to a screeching halt earlier this year, and companies like AMC have only been able to take the smallest of steps to start moving again since. Cineworld’s Regal Cinemas are shut down completely for the time being, and AMC says it could run out of cash to keep going by early 2021.

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Author: Eric Frederiksen