What happened

Shares of AMC Entertainment (AMC 0.77%) were down about 5% in afternoon trading on Monday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 500 points to kick off trading in the new year.

So what

The theater owner filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week notice of its intent to sell 50 million shares in an effort to stave off bankruptcy. AMC recently raised $100 million from one of its lenders, but it still needed another $750 million to continue operating through the end of 2021. Some of its lenders have urged it to file for bankruptcy.

The share offering comes weeks after AMC registered 200 million shares to sell to raise cash. 

Theater with signs saying Social Distancing on some seats

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The cinema operator has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic as its theaters are either closed or operating at 50% capacity or less. Compounding its difficulties is that studios postponed the release of their movies until 2021. Those that have been released, even the big-budget flicks like the spy thriller Tenet and the superhero sequel Wonder Woman 1984, have hardly inspired confidence.

While Wonder Woman generated more box office receipts than expected since it was also released to streaming service HBO Max on the same day, consumer response to its contrived story line means the movie crashed in the aftermath. 

Many analysts expect AMC to file for bankruptcy, but the theater operator is looking to hang on for as long as it can until more new releases debut.