Cinema advertising network National CineMedia (NCM) announced today that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and are planning a series of debt restructuring measures that will bring the company back to a stronger financial position.
National CineMedia was formed in 2005 as a joint venture between leading cinema chains AMC and Regal, with Cinemark joining later that year as a founding member. In the years since, it has grown into North America’s largest cinema advertising network. It is National CineMedia LLC—distinct from National CineMedia, Inc., which owns a 48 percent interest in, and is the managing member of, National CineMedia, LLC—that filed for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, also entering into a Restructuring Support Agreement (RSA) with the support of secured lenders. Under the RSA, NCM’s debt will be converted into equity, with NCM Inc. receiving an approximately 14 percent ownership interest in the restructured company.
NCM INC. CEO Tom Lesinski emphasized in a statement that the company would remain fully operational during the restructuring, noting that “Our category-defining platform will continue to empower advertisers to reach our sought-after, young moviegoing audiences with scale and measurability.”
The cinema release calendar is a busy one in Q2 2022, with tentpoles on deck for all major studios—among them Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Fast X, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and The Flash. So far in Q2, The Super Mario Bros. broke the record for largest global animated opening, among others. NCM had a strong Q2 2024, with highly anticipated films like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water helping to propel their revenue growth to 44.4 percent above the same quarter in 2021, according to preliminary reporting. Said Lesinski, “We are well positioned to deliver on this momentum as theater traffic builds back towards normal historical patterns and our inventory utilization increases.”
In filing for Chapter 11, NCM has joined its co-founder Cineworld, which operates in North America as Regal. Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 in September 2022 and earlier this month announced their own plan to restructure and emerge from Chapter 11.