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Cineworld plans July bankruptcy exit

Tim Baysinger
May 25, 2023
Illustration of a stock trend line on a movie theater screen

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Cineworld expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, the U.K.-based movie theater company said Thursday morning.

Why it matters: It's another welcome sign for the movie theater industry as it continues its rebound from COVID-era closures.

Details: Cineworld's restructuring proposal has the support of lenders holding 99% of its revolving credit facilities and 69% of its outstanding debts.

The big picture: A few months ago, it appeared as if the world's second-largest movie theater operator would be broken up. Instead, Cineworld gets a fresh start midway through summer movie season.

  • The box office is having its best year since 2019, with more than $3.1 billion in domestic ticket sales — an increase of 22% from last year.
  • Though the company had to close some of its theaters, Cineworld will emerge from bankruptcy without any major sell-offs after it failed to find a deal that it liked.

Of note: In March, it had still been considering a sale of its Eastern Europe and Israel theaters — Elliott Management and CVC Capital Partners were two potential buyers — but called that off in April.

What's next: Cineworld is scheduled to formally seek final court approval of its bankruptcy restructuring on June 28.

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