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Planet of the Ape

adam aron matt belloni
Realizing that a bankruptcy would wipe out his retail shareholders (and probably cost him his job), AMC C.E.O. Adam Aron has been defiant. Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for CinemaCon
Matthew Belloni
April 11, 2024

Regular readers of What I’m Hearing are very familiar with Adam Aron, the C.E.O. of AMC Entertainment, the world’s largest movie theater company. Since naming him Villain of the Year in 2021 for his stock sales during the height of the “APEs” meme craziness, I’ve followed the AMC saga through the devastating aftermath of Covid, which shuttered most of his 10,000 theaters globally and 8,200 in the U.S. and Canada. To Aron’s credit, he has so far prevented AMC from going bankrupt, a fate that befell rivals Cineworld (home of Regal) and Alamo Drafthouse. But some believe it’s only a matter of time for AMC, and that Chapter 11 might even be the most prudent path for the company long-term. 

But realizing that a bankruptcy would wipe out his retail shareholders (and probably cost him his job), Aron has been defiant. He raised another $865 million in 2023 to keep the company afloat until, he believes, a strong pipeline of movies in 2025 and ’26 will lift the annual domestic box office above $10 billion for the first time since 2019.