Cineworld Group, the owner of Regal Cinemas in the US, has confirmed that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is one of the “strategic options” it is considering as the company struggles with lower admissions and a limited film slate.
The London-based company, the world’s second largest theater chain, responded to speculation after a Wall Street Journal report on Friday.
In a statement posted Monday, Cineworld said the Cineworld and Regal theaters are “open as usual and continue to welcome guests and members.” The statement continued, “The strategic options that will allow Cineworld to achieve its restructuring goals include a potential voluntary Chapter 11 filing in the United States and associated additional litigation in other jurisdictions as part of an orderly implementation process.”
“Cineworld is in talks with many of its key stakeholders, including its secured lenders and their legal and financial advisors,” the company said.
In an August 17 statement, Cineworld said it was eyeing unspecified strategic options as it struggled to get through the summer doldrums in front of Hollywood tent poles in its theaters.
After a strong box office recovery in the first half of 2022, major exhibitors are hoping for momentum that may stall in the second half of the year due to a lack of major Hollywood tent poles following the performance of Top Gun: Maverick and Minions: The Rise of Gru.
Bankruptcy protection would provide a way for debt-laden Cineworld to sustain its business while safeguarding capital needed to continue recovering box-office revenue stemming from the COVID pandemic.