Should AMC With All Its Struggles Have Paid CEO Adam Aron $20+ Million In Compensation in 2020?

While we’re generally against overpaying leaders of businesses having problems, 2020 was a unique year and circumstances. If we analyze what happened to AMC, with the start featuring CEO Adam Aron fighting against Universal in the press (see: AMC Titanic May Just Have Struck Studio Iceberg – They Will No Longer Play ANY Universal Movies), the year quickly morphed into numerous struggles to keep AMC solvent.

Without knowing too many details about Aron’s direct activities, the current scoreboard says AMC theaters are open in our area, while #2 Regal Cinemas are not. That alone tells me he’s done something right. He fought to keep the doors open. Also, his base salary is $1.1 million, which is a lot, certainly, but not outlandish in comparison to CEOs of other companies.

Lastly, a major part of his compensation was in stock bonus, not cash.

The company pre-announced the bonus — there was no bonus in either 2018 or 2019 — citing Aron’s efforts to keep the struggling exhibitor afloat during a global pandemic that shuttered theaters. The circuit, which was close to bankruptcy, was saved by a capital raise late last year and love from retail investors on Reddit.

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron’s 2020 Compensation Doubled to $20.9M – Deadline

Can’t go as far as to say Aron deserves the compensation, his actions certainly lend support to it more than dissuade. I feel a much better use of the money would have been to pay the many furloughed AMC employees than line the pockets of its CEO, but that’s personal preference rather than any kind of wise business decision.

I’m torn on this one, what about you? Did Aron deserve this compensation? He didn’t bail when the times were tough, he has stuck in there and done everything he could do to get the doors reopened and stay open. We’re grateful for that, at least.

We’ve been able to see 10 movies in 2021 so far thanks to AMC theaters being open. The theaters have been very clean and we feel safe in there or we wouldn’t keep going back. That tells us the fish doesn’t stink at the head.

Reactivating AMC A-List Stubs Membership During Risky Theater Environment

For those regularly watching movies in theaters, at least under normal business operating conditions, the theater memberships can be a good deal. AMC Stubs A-List offers the ability to see three movies a week. Normally, there are 2-4 new movies released.

However, we aren’t in normal times. While we were in Vegas we paid full ticket price to see Promising Young Woman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Despite the times we’re in, and the possibility that theaters might be forced to close a third time, I reactivated my subscription and reserved a ticket to Monster Hunter. A review is coming.

I know it’s on VOD, but was encouraged by previews back in November when all theaters were forced to close in our local area.

Weekend #6 box office receipts as of Sunday morning are showing that Super Bowl Sunday is adding potential pressure to sales results, er, projections.

AMC Raises $917 Million to Stave Off Bankruptcy … for Awhile

The Joker’s expression in Harley Quinn sums up AMC’s movie theater business

Good to see that AMC got more creative (see: Yes, AOC: “Sex work is work” – Maybe AMC Should Be More Desperate)

For all of the gloomy predictions involving AMC — some they brought up themselves — they have made some creative financing moves to raise $917 million and push bankruptcy away for awhile.

The movie theater operator said it raised $917 million through a combination of equity and debt. On the equity side, AMC secured $506 million by issuing 164.7 million new shares along with the previously announced $100 million of additional first-lien debt and converting $100 million of second-lien debt into equity.

AMC Entertainment Scores Nearly $1 Billion in New Financing

This should propel AMC though a rocky 2021. We’re happy for them. I’d like to declare by 2022 life will be better in theaters, but there’s no strong evidence that will be the case. Sure, the vaccines are coming, but there are numerous issues (see: Large Amounts of Frontline Workers are Refusing To Take Vaccine, Citing Various Concerns and Washington State Now Has Confirmed Cases Of Faster-Spreading COVID-19 Variant B.1.1.7)

Not trying to be pessimistic here, just realistic. There’s nothing that’s happened the last year to indicate we are anywhere close to out of the woods. As I write this, movie theaters — including AMC — have been closed almost 9 of the last 12 months and are closed right now. They aren’t doing any significant business while the government forces them to stay closed.

Yes, AOC: “Sex work is work” – Maybe AMC Should Be More Desperate

AMC theaters in our area — Washington State — are closed until January 4, 2021 at the earliest

Sure, the title is hyperbolic and ridiculous. But maybe AMC needs to be as desperate as some Americans are right now with their own financial situation.

It’s maddening to me that we think of helping companies sometimes more than helping people. There are homeless people out in the cold right now and I doubt many of them tonight when the temperature drops below freezing care one iota what happens to AMC.

No, I don’ think anything as ludicrous as AMC promoting XXX movies at their theaters. Turning to showing XXX movies isn’t their salvation, but sometimes creativity and desperation are similar bedfellows.

Most of what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, says and does I don’t agree with, but strongly agree with her on this story about a 23 year old woman paramedic who supplemented her income with sex work on a website.

While the woman didn’t turn to prostitution — not judging, it’s a profession that is legal in some parts of the world, including parts of Nevada — she did turn to selling something that has sold for a long, long time: sex.

Is sex legitimate work? Of course it is. AOC is right to admonish the press calling out this woman who supplemented her income with sex-related work.

“Keep the focus of shame there,” Ocasio-Cortez added, “not on marginalizing people surviving a pandemic without help.” Earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez found herself agreeing with Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who has also called for stimulus checks for ordinary Americans to be part of the next coronavirus relief bill.

AOC responds ‘Sex work is work,’ to report of NYC paramedic posting racy photos for cash | Fox News

The more important issue isn’t shaming a woman for turning to supplemental sex money is doing something in congress to get another stimulus check out to people. It bothers me that the focus of the government continues to be on helping businesses.

Every time I see another article that AMC is about to go bankrupt, I’m somewhat annoyed. Stop fear shaming us that a “100 year old company is about to go bankrupt.”

If that’s the reality, just go bankrupt. Sell assets and let others come in and buy what’s left or they should be doing something to try and save the business from crashing.

The reality is that AMC was in financial trouble before the pandemic. I wish more of these “oh no, poor AMC” articles would focus on that. This company sucked financially before any of 2020 happened and yet we’re supposed to cry for them now? No.

I’ll cry for the paramedic woman being needlessly shamed. Unlike AMC that couldn’t run their business profitably, she deserves our respect for working. Sex work? So what. She’s working.

Don’t expect the morality police to agree, but hey, it is what it is. Although there are limits of how far I’d go personally, when you have to eat, you have to eat. Good for this paramedic. Is this a bit sexist, too? If a man turned to sex to feed his family out of necessity, would he face similar backlash?

Why is AMC+ more expensive than Disney+?

Streaming services with + in the title continue to be released. For those keeping score, we now have Disney+, Apple TV+, CBS All Access soon to become Paramount+ and AMC+. Have we missed any?

You can charge whatever you want for a subscription service, but $9/month may seem a bit on the pricey side compared to Disney+ at $7.99. AMC+ doesn’t have Star Wars or Marvel, but it does have Shudder, which costs $6/month just for that and The Walking Dead TV show, so maybe the subscription isn’t as expensive as it seems.

AMC+ is a $9-a-month bundled offering showcasing programming from across AMC Networks’ streaming and linear portfolios, from Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited to AMC, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV. Key titles include The Walking Dead Universe, Gangs of London, Riviera, Soulmates and marquee library titles like Mad Men. Prior to reaching Roku, the service was on Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV, Comcast and Dish Network and Sling TV.

AMC+ Goes Live On Roku – Deadline

The good news is for those who haven’t tried it that have Amazon Prime Video there is a 30 day free trial available for AMC+. That should be ample time to try and decide if it’s worth continuing to subscribe.

Anybody reading subscribed already? What do you think? What are you watching on AMC+?

No, Disney Should Not Buy AMC — They Should Cherry Pick Theater Locations

Empty theater seats are breaking major theater chains financially

Motley Fool is posing the question: Should Disney Buy AMC?

It’s linked in the quote below for full context. I’ve seen estimates that AMC is losing double digit millions per month. At that negative cash burn rate — assuming these are accurate figures — no sane business should or would buy them. Even a company as large as Disney.

And here to think Motley Fool is an investment website? The second part of their name applies to anybody at Disney seriously considering this deal.

More after the jump.

Certainly Paramount or Universal, or even Netflix and Amazon, as was rumored earlier this year, could also benefit from buying the theater operator. But Disney’s size, scope, and branding potential would make acquiring AMC Entertainment a blockbuster event.

Should Disney Buy AMC?

I’m on record suggesting that streaming channels should buy some theaters. They just need to wait until AMC goes into fire sale mode or full on liquidation, swoop in and buy up prime locations in key cities and states. Boom, now they’re in the theater exhibiting business, but on their own terms. They buy AMC in the shape its in now, it’s like buying a house that’s already on fire. Who does that?

As for Amazon and Netflix? You bet they should get in on the same deal. I think this is where the future of cinema is headed with studio-branded theaters. Paramount+ Theater, Amazon Theater, Netflix Theater and so on. It’s a great path to giving moviegoers the best of both worlds. They can day and date release whatever they want without a theatrical window. Burn that obsolete window down — except for the biggest of big budget films. In those cases, exclusively show them in theaters for a short window (see: Collapsing Theatrical Windows Are Not The End Of Cinema Life As We Know It)

My opinion is admittedly unpopular with business insiders. Some might even say my recommendations are a little crazy. Like a fox! This is a crazy world in the pandemic and a new theater model will need to emerge. I can see all kinds of reasons that Motley Fool lays out and more for studios to buy up theaters. The main caveat is buy at the optimal price. Not now, not when the assets are seriously distressed. A little patience for your shareholders.

They’ve already pushed off most of the major movies to 2021, which should all but seal AMC’s fate, unless they can get some more cash help. I don’t wish AMC to fail, but don’t see any way that makes sense for Disney, Amazon, Netflix, etc buy into AMC right now.

What do you think?

AMC Reopening More Theaters – Shortened Theatrical Window Cited as Key Competitive Advantage

Maybe we will be able to watch new movies being widely released in theaters, after all. This is in encouraging news, thanks to AMC. They will be opening a local theater next Friday 10/16 (pictured above). Just in time for Honest Thief starring Liam Neeson. We’ll be at least a week behind watching War with Grandpa, but hey, just happy to have another theater reopening nearby.

AMC is very determined to open more theaters in Washington State (pictured above), a state that only had one Regal Cinema open the last month and no AMCs reopened in our area.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc AMC.N, the largest theater chain in the United States, said on Thursday it expects to open more locations in Washington state and have more than 520 theaters open in the country by mid-October.

AMC to open more cinema theaters in the United States | Reuters

Props to AMC for continuing to open new theaters, despite the #2 closing all of their US theaters (see: “Facing situation where it is better to be closed than to be open,” says Cineworld/Regal CEO – Could be 1-2+ months before they reopen)

They estimate by October 16, nationwide 520 locations will be reopened. That means an AMC theater in the United States is likely be open near you, unless you live in New York and some cities in California.

Also found it interesting that AMC is crediting their industry maligned (by others) deal with Universal. AMC’s CEO explains (emphasis mine):

Aron pointed to the historic deal AMC reached with Universal Pictures in July as a reason the company is in a position to keep its theaters open. The agreement shortened the time that Universal’s films had to be shown in AMC theaters before moving to on-demand streaming from 90 days to 17 days.

“We get a cut both of the theatrical revenue and the home revenue. That’s an agreement that AMC has struck,” Aron said. “Our competitors have not yet struck that agreement.” 

AMC CEO: Keeping movie theaters open is ‘the right decision’ even as rival Regal shutters screens

Regular readers here already know we’ve gone against popular opinion (multiple times now) celebrating the inevitable reduction of the theatrical window (see: Good deal – AMC strikes historic deal with Universal to shrink theatrical window to 17 days) and it’s encouraging to see AMC’s newfound enthusiasm (perhaps borne out of financial desperation, but who cares?).

We’ll continue to support a reduced — and in some cases eliminated — theatrical window. Day and date releases can still make money for cinemas. They have to accept that and understand their customers — passionate moviegoers like us — want to be able to watch movies where we want, when we want and as often as we want. Those that cater best to their customers deserve financial fruits. Those that don’t? Goodbye and good riddance.

I didn’t expect Regal (#2) and Cinemark (#3) to be giddy about AMC’s deal, but thought they eventually would begrudgingly follow suit.

To their financial peril, it seems, that hasn’t happened yet.

Also, other studios besides Universal haven’t cut the same deal leaving Universal and AMC going it alone. If the movies do well released under this shortened window watch how long it takes other studios and the other two major theater chains to cave.

Then again, this is 2020 and box office revenue is beyond strained. This could also go the opposite way with AMC going out of business in six months, bone dry empty on operating income and Universal forced to go back to the more traditional deal.

We’ll know truly how important this deal is when a major movie is released under this deal. That test case will be F9, currently scheduled to be released May 2021. I don’t see Regal passing on the ability to show that tentpole film.

Our history covering AMC since the pandemic is revealing. At first AMC took a much more aggressive position with Universal on the Trolls World Tour launch and maintaining the established lengthier theatrical window. They once vowed not to show any Universal movies period (see April 29, 2020: AMC Titanic May Just Have Struck Studio Iceberg – They Will No Longer Play ANY Universal Movies).

Good seeing they changed their minds.

It’s not about what has been the standard in a dynamic business, it’s about what is and what will be the new way of doing business. A good, healthy business adapts, grows, and keeps up with the times. It seems AMC is embracing change now. At least being more welcoming toward it. Props to them. And hopefully enough business to stave off bankruptcy.

At least they aren’t taking their ball and going home for 1-2+ months like Regal is doing. They’re trying.

Maybe it’s time we consider buying an AMC Stubs monthly movie subscription? It’s not unlimited like Regal and AMC doesn’t have as many theaters as Regal in our area, but it’s moot when Regal is closed everywhere and AMC are open.

Dune postponed to 2021, The Batman to 2022, AMC doubles down on their theaters staying open

Regal closes all US theaters Thursday 10/8, AMC trying to stay open with few new movies

W.A.S.P has this song on their debut album called “The Torture Never Stops” – a fitting ballad for the movie business in 2020.

Those looking forward to seeing Dune (me!) around Christmas in 2020 will now need to wait until Oct 1, 2021 and Warner Bros. has pushed The Batman back to 2022. Several other titles have been moved around.

Warner Bros. is delaying a slew of its upcoming films, including The Batman, which EW has confirmed is now set for a March 4, 2022 premiere. Its previous Oct. 1, 2021 date is being taken over by Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, confirming reports from earlier today.

The Batman moves to 2022 after Dune takes its premiere date |

Curiously, AMC is not closing their theaters in the United States in reaction to Regal closing all their locations as of end of business Thursday 10/8/2020. As we learned previously, the Regal Cinema closings will likely run through Christmas (see: “Facing situation where it is better to be closed than to be open,” says Cineworld/Regal CEO – Could be 1-2+ months before they reopen)

Since there are no AMC theaters open in any reasonable distance from us (Washington State near Seattle), we’re now effectively unable to see any new movies released in theaters. That includes The War With Grandpa that opens wide (eyeroll) this weekend and Honest Thief next week. Bummer, as we want to see both those movies.

No idea if those two movies will be delayed or made available on streaming or simply roll out where theaters are open. Seems like at least War With Grandpa is going as planned. We will be unable to review that here, unfortunately, unless a theater opens nearby.

Normally on Wednesdays we spotlight movies opening wide in theaters, but didn’t today and will resume that feature once theaters are open again in our area. It can be AMC, Regal, Cinemark or even independent theaters, we just want any movie theater that shows new movies open — and that’s not a reality locally at the moment. We’ll continue to wait, hopeful they will open and have new movies to show again soon.

Shudder Reaches 1 Million Subscribers on September 23, 2020

Creepshow Season 2 is filming now for future release on Shudder, slated most likely for 2021

Congratulations to AMC’s Shudder for hitting the seven figure subscriber milestone.

“The addition of original series and movies turbocharged our growth and turned Shudder into a must-have service for anyone interested in great horror, thriller or supernatural entertainment,” said Miguel Penella, president of SVOD at AMC Networks, in a statement. “Our relentless focus on quality programming, innovative content and finding the best up-and-coming creators has enabled Shudder to break out in the crowded world of subscription services.

AMC’s Horror Streaming Service ‘Shudder’ Reaches 1M Subscribers | Cord Cutters News

This news comes in the middle of their 61 days of Halloween horror event that kicked off on September 1 and runs through Halloween 2020.

Being a huge horror fan myself, Kara finds it one of her least favorite genres, this news is even better. Have said it before that Shudder is a must have for hardcore horror fans. Even if you subscribe, binge what you want for a couple months, leave and then come back and do it again a few months later. Whatever your horror watching strategy, at some point Shudder should be part of it.

And nobody is paying me to say that, nor are there any affiliate links to the site here. We’re subscribers and horror fans, that’s all, passing along something good.

As far as niche streaming sites go, this one is one of my most favorites. DC Universe used to be, but they are getting out of the streaming movie and TV show business, going comic books only and their video content is moving to HBO Max.

Anything you’d like to see playing on Shudder? They do have some modern horror films, but their sweet spot is titles that are older and newer originals, like recently I watched Nicolas Cage in Color Out Of Space ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (recommended).

AMC Network drops lawsuit against AT&T over alleged network unfairness

The Shudder promo code above likely doesn’t work any more, but you can find more

An update on the lawsuit between AMC and AT&T over alleged unfairness AT&T was showing its existing network over competing networks. The carriers have reached an agreement.

The Walking Dead parent alleged AT&T favors its own competing networks including HBO and TNT by insisting on “discriminatory” terms to renew affiliation agreements with AMC. AT&T had called the complaint “without merit” and insisted it treats “all programmers fairly.”

AMC Networks Request To Withdraw Complaint Against AT&T Granted By FCC – Deadline

What’s most interesting in the Deadline article is what AT&T says about AMC toward the end of the article.

“The cost to provide AMC Networks’ programming to our customers should reflect that AMC Networks’ shows have been declining in popularity as compared to their peers for several years.”

Ouch. Don’t know if AT&T is correct about the stats, but do know from a fan standpoint, I disagree on at least one area of AMC Networks.

AMC is the network behind Shudder, for that alone they deserve my respect vote. Shudder is an awesome, low-cost niche streaming service for horror fans. If you like horror and aren’t subscribed to Shudder, find yourself one of the many easily available promo codes (just do a Google search for “Shudder promo codes”) and check out a free month trial. With Halloween right around the corner next month, the timing is great.

We resubscribed to Shudder this week, making it the ninth streaming service we are currently subscribed to:

  1. Netflix
  2. Amazon Prime Video (as Prime members)
  3. HBO Max
  4. Disney+ (subscribed annually, mostly for our grandchildren, we hardly ever watch it)
  5. Peacock (premium subscription is free, since we are Xfinity internet customers)
  6. Shudder (resubbed new this week of 9/14)
  7. Hulu (will cancel once working through the movies & shows we’re currently watching)
  8. CBS All Access (contemplating dropping after Lower Decks, just not that much else there of interest)
  9. DC Universe (most likely dropping soon, but waiting first to see what this week’s big announcement is, see: )

Add all these subscription fees up and it’s pushing $75+/month. We can’t watch all these channels enough to justify keeping all, so we’ll drop the ones we’re watching least and return when something we really want to see on the channel returns.

Shudder from AMC, to get back to the article in question, is well worth subscribing to, especially in the fall, when that horror halloween witchy time of year is in full force.