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WIRE Buzz: AMC Theatres running out of cash; Disney+ adds 'Marvel Legacy' category; Greenland PVOD

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Oct 13, 2020, 11:10 AM EDT

Following the second delay of No Time to Die, Disney's decision to move Soul to Disney+, and New York's firm stance on keeping theaters closed, exhibitor chains around the globe are in big financial trouble as the coronavirus pandemic enters its seventh month. Even the big companies are finding it difficult to stay afloat.

For instance, AMC Theatres (the world's biggest theater chain) says it could run out of money by the end of 2020 or early 2021 "if current trends persist," writes The Hollywood Reporter. Per the report, AMC's shares were down more than 6 percent Tuesday. While some of its competitors (like Regal owner Cineworld) have decided to shutter their theaters temporarily for the second time this year, AMC assured customers that it would remain open amid the health crisis, thanks in part to a recent distribution deal with Universal Pictures.

Source: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After reaching a new debt agreement over the summer, the company is taking further measures to stay financially stable through "additional debt and equity financing; further renegotiations with landlords regarding its lease payments; potential asset sales; joint-venture or other arrangements with existing business partners; and minority investments in our capital stock."

Right now, Wonder Woman 1984 is the only tentpole on the 2020 release calendar (it's currently scheduled to debut on Christmas Day), but with the way the winds are blowing, we wouldn't be surprised if the DC sequel is pushed into next year. Warner Bros. already delayed its big budget Dune adaptation to October 2021.

To quote Star WarsMace Windu: "You are on this council, but we do not grant you the rank of master." It's a famous piece of dialogue that nicely applies to the new "Marvel Legacy" section of Disney+ that refers to non-MCU films. These include the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies produced by 20th Century Fox before the studio was bought out by Disney in March of last year. The Fox era of Marvel films ended this past summer with the release of The New Mutants.

The "Marvel Legacy" titles currently available to stream are: X-Men, X2: X-Men United, The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, Tim Story's first Fantastic Four (2005), and Josh Trank's Fantastic Four (2015).

Credit: Disney+

When it comes to the MCU, Disney+ breaks the films up by phases, as well as the in-canon timeline. There's also a "Marvel Legacy Animation" that includes X-Men: The Animated Series and the Silver Surfer show from the late '90s.

After a trailer debut and theatrical delay, Greenland will not be opening in theaters after all. Instead, the disaster flick starring Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen) will hit PVOD by way of HBO and HBO Max in early 2021, Deadline confirms. HBO has reportedly paid $20 - $30 million for the movie's TV and streaming rights in the U.S. The film will hit Amazon Prime in Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

"We conceived Greenland as a theatrical experience and audiences have responded strongly in every market where moviegoing is robust. In some markets, however, we need a different strategy to get the movie out in a timely and economically advantageous fashion,"  STXfilms Motion Picture Group chairman Adam Fogelson said in a statement run by Deadline. "We’re excited that HBO customers will have the chance to enjoy Greenland next year following a PVOD run in America during the fourth quarter of this year. And we’re pleased to partner again with Amazon in UK, Canada and Australia. We are actively producing and acquiring an exciting slate of content for theaters going forward. They are, and will continue to be, our critical partners."

Butler, who re-teamed with Angel Has Fallen director Ric Roman Waugh, stars as a father trying to get his family to a military-grade bunker in Greenland when the planet is devastated by planet-killing meteor fragments. Morena Baccarin, David Denman, Hope Davis, Roger Dale Floyd, Andrew Bachelor, Merrin Dungey, Holt McCallany, and Scott Glenn co-star.

Greenland has opened in some overseas markets where COVID-19 is more under control. To date, the feature has made $27 million at the international box office.