AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron reacted on Twitter to rival movie theater chain Cineworld filing for bankruptcy Wednesday.
Cineworld, the world’s second-largest cinema chain behind AMC Theaters, said earlier Wednesday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Texas.
The Regal Cinemas owner had previously confirmed it was considering the move in August.
“Fortunately, AMC is in a very, very different situation — because retail investors embraced us and let us raise boatloads of cash,” Aron tweeted in response his competitor’s filing. “Thank you to retail! You really did save AMC.”
AMC’s retail investors helped rescue the company from possible bankruptcy when COVID-19 pandemic restrictions forced movie theaters to close their doors.
The company issued APE preferred equity units as a special dividend in August, and they have since started trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The ticker symbol for the units stems from the nickname of the world’s largest cinema operator’s “Ape” retail investors.
AMC said it had $1.176 billion of available liquidity at the end of the second quarter of 2022. It also reported about $1.17 billion in second-quarter revenues, and its net loss narrowed to $121.6 million from $344 million.
Both Cineworld and AMC previously said they expect a limited third-quarter film slate.
However, Aron said in an August statement that AMC continues to be “quite optimistic about the increasing demand for our portfolio of movie theaters in the fourth quarter of 2022 and calendar year 2023.”
Cineworld expects its global business and theaters to operate “as usual” while undergoing its reorganization, the company said in a statement. It anticipates coming out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the first three months of 2023.
“The pandemic was an incredibly difficult time for our business, with the enforced closure of cinemas and huge disruption to film schedules that has led us to this point,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement. “This latest process is part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen our financial position and is in pursuit of a de-leveraging that will create a more resilient capital structure and effective business.”