Even before the coronavirus pandemic, AMC Theatres was not in great financial shape. The country’s largest theater chain, with around 1,000 screens, was already saddled with several billion dollars in debt. With its theaters closed because of the pandemic, AMC had to raise even more debt to stay in business last month. Many are predicting the company could go into bankruptcy.

Other rumors suggest the company could be bought outright. Daily Mail reports that Amazon “is circling” the company in consideration of adding its theaters to the online retailer’s enormous empire:

Sources said the online shopping and technology giant, run by billionaire Jeff Bezos, has run the rule over America's AMC Theatres, the world's largest cinema chain, which also owns Odeon in the UK. The duo are thought to have held talks about a potential takeover of AMC by Amazon. However, it is not clear if the discussions are still active or if they will lead to a deal, sources said.

Amazon has considered getting into the theatrical movie business before; they were reportedly one of the potential buyers for the arthouse chain of Landmark Theaters, which were sold in 2018 to Cohen Media Group. AMC would give Amazon not only a place to show its own movies, but a place to show all movies; not to mention a great space to advertise all of Amazon’s products and services. It would not be that far off in theory from Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market in 2017.

Of course, grocery stores are currently open; movie theaters, by and large, are not. Still, odds are something drastic will have to happen if AMC Theatres are going to reopen in the near future.

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