The COVID-19 coronavirus doesn’t play favorites. It’s now infected 4.1 million people worldwide and has led to a death toll exceeding 283,000, causing a drastic dip in the global economy. The United States remains the epicenter of the virus with 1.4 million cases and over 80,000 deaths, and there is an ongoing debate between government leaders and the general populace about whether the country should begin to reopen.
Regardless of which side of the arguement you fall on, there’s no denying that many business are being pummeled by the country-wide stay-at-home orders that have forced them to close up and lose out on millions. One such company, AMC Theatres, have been hit pretty hard by the effects of the virus following the decision to close their doors for a few months, and with the pandemic not showing any noticeable signs of slowing, many analysts assume that the chain may never be able to financially recover.
The company is on the brink of bankruptcy, and with its shares trading at exceptionally discounted rates, there is plenty of speculation that another major entity could step in and buy out the theater chain altogether. Both Netflix and Amazon showed interest in theatrical exhibitor Landmark prior to it being sold to a private buyer in 2018, leading some traders on Wall Street to now believe that Amazon, in particular, may be in the running to snag AMC Theatres and change the theatrical landscape forever.
Of course, Amazon could benefit greatly from owning a massive theater chain, as it would grant them significant power and control in an industry that such streaming services are seeking to dominate. Reports indicate that they’ve already been in talks with AMC Theatres about a potential takeover, but as of yet, there’s no confirmation of a deal.
Whether Amazon buys out AMC Theatres or it simply falls apart, it goes without saying that the coronavirus has changed the world of movies forever and direct-to-streaming could very well become the new norm over the next few years.