Top exhibitor AMC Entertainment, following through on previously announced cost-cutting plans, has laid off 35 office staffers and will not fill 15 more positions.
In a statement furnished to Deadline, AMC acknowledged the “difficult but necessary organizational changes” at its headquarters in Leawood, KS. The company noted that since its current headquarters building opened in 2013, the workforce there has gone from fewer than 400 associates to “well over 600.” Even after the cuts, there will still be more than 600 workers in Leawood. The exhibitor, which is partly owned by private equity and China’s Wanda Group, employs several thousand workers around the world.
“Because of AMC’s leadership position in the operation of cinemas and its proactive desire to operate more efficiently, AMC is confident that its future is a bright one,” the statement concluded.
During a conference call with Wall Street analysts earlier this month, AMC chief Adam Aron said the company was launching what he called a “formal profit improvement plan.” While the plan is expected to have only “modest impact” this year, Aron said the company sees it adding $50 million or more in operating income.
Aron said the company has identified ideas for about $50 million in cost savings and $25 million in revenue enhancement. “While most of the ideas will be realized, some will not,” Aron mused.
Financial results were strong in the second quarter ending in June, thanks to Avengers: Endgame and other blockbusters, but exhibition is facing several challenges to its traditional business model. Streaming of big-budget films by Netflix, Amazon and others has not yet blown up the theatrical release window but the threat is a serious one.
Anticipating analysts’ questions about the timing of the restructuring, Aron said, “Any time and all the time is a good time for a company to think creatively about its revenues and its costs.” He added, “Think of us as a leaner, but not a meaner AMC.”