AMC Struggles To Sell Canadian Theaters As Backers Scramble For Cash

EXCLUSIVE: The Kansas City-based exhibition chain accounts for about 6% of Canada’s box office revenues — but I’m told that its eight theaters, with 184 screens, are a tough sell because they’re hemorrhaging cash. Cineplex Entertainment (with 66% of Canada’s box office) and Empire Theaters (a subsidiary of a supermarket chain that has 13%) are said to be kicking the tires on some of the properties, which collectively generated $70.3M in revenue in the year that ended in April 2010. But AMC’s huge multiplexes have expensive leases, and some are in competitive film zones where the stronger chains have an easier time landing the most popular new releases. AMC may find a bad deal for the venues better than the status quo. The company’s owners — several funds led by J.P. Morgan Partners and Apollo Management — are said to be desperate to recoup their investments. (more…)

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