The world’s biggest cinema chain, AMC Entertainment Holdings, has decided to exit Saudi Arabia due to heavy competition. About five years ago a decades-long ban on movie theaters was lifted in Saudi as part of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s efforts to speed up the economy and bring Western-style entertainment.
According to AMC officials, the company had always had plans to hand operations over to its Saudi partners eventually.
AMC marked its arrival by hosting Marvel’s Black Panther in 2018 which attracted a large crowd.
But in the last few years, AMC has faced fierce competition from muvi Cinemas and Vox Cinemas. It will sell its investment to Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) operated by the Saudi Arabia government’s Public Investment Fund.
AMC operates around 950 theaters and 10,500 screens around the world. Their business got hit hard by the pandemic and the following lockdowns.