Movie theater executives don’t usually quote Winston Churchill on earnings calls.
But during his company’s most recent quarterly report to analysts, AMC chief Adam Aron dusted off one of the prime minister’s most famous speeches to describe the financial cataclysm engulfing the exhibition industry and the resilient spirit he hopes will rise up to meet the challenge.
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,” Aron said.
A touch melodramatic? Perhaps, but Aron is correct in noting that cinemas have never faced a threat as grave as COVID-19. In 2020, theatrical box office revenue will plummet 65.6% to an estimated $15.5 billion, the worst result in decades.
But then, on Nov. 9, there was something of a deus ex machina. News broke that Pfizer had