Could Odeon cinemas be scooped up by Amazon?

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square in London, Thursday, April 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Retail and streaming giant Amazon is said to be circling the acquisition of the AMC chain of theatres in the US, the parent company of Odeon in the UK.

According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, sources added that 'it is not clear if the discussions are still active or if they will lead to a deal'.

Deadline has since added that the talks remain unconfirmed, and neither Amazon or AMC has commented on the speculation.

But nonetheless, reports of the possible takeover saw shares in AMC Entertainment Holdings shoot up by more than 42% yesterday.

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It could be another big step for Amazon into the movie sector, having moved into the studio business in 2010 to pursue rivals like Netflix.

Meanwhile, AMC has been losing money in recent years, having lost around $50 million off its value in the last quarter alone.

Its sites are also currently shuttered around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The news follows a high profile spat between AMC and the Universal studio, which boiled over at the end of last month.

Trolls: World Tour (Credit: Universal)

Adam Aron, the boss of the cinema chain, said that it would ban movies made by Universal after it decided to release animated sequel Trolls: World Tour direct to on demand services.

It also released the movies Emma, The Invisible Man and The Hunt early to the home entertainment market, following the closing of cinemas due the lockdown.

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He said that the decision was 'not some hollow or ill-considered threat', and added that the chain would follow through with the ban once cinemas re-opened.

“Going forward, AMC will not license any Universal movies in any of our 1,000 theatres globally on these terms,” he said.

In the UK, that could potentially mean that new Bond movie No Time To Die, which is to be distributed by Universal, might not be shown at Odeon cinemas.