But the company, which also owns the Picturehouse chain in the UK, insisted that its cinemas “remain open for business” and there will be “no significant impact” on jobs.

Cineworld employs over 28,000 people globally.

Like other cinema chains, Cineworld was hit by the pandemic.

Many cinemas were forced to close for extended periods during the lockdown, or operate at reduced capacity due to social distancing norms.

Cinema chains also faced stiff competition from streaming services, which grew in popularity during the lockdown.

Recently, however, Netflix reported a sharp drop in subscribers, as rising cost of living tends to bite people back.

Cineworld shares plunge on fears of bankruptcy

Cinema chains were hopeful that blockbusters like the latest Bond film, Top Gun: Maverick and Thor: Love and Thunder would pull back audiences after the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Top Gun: Maverick has grossed $1.8 billion at the global box office, making it one of the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time.

But last week, Cineworld warned it still didn’t have a big enough release to attract cinema audiences, saying it was affecting admissions.

Overall, this year’s box office is down by almost a third, or 32%, compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic struck.

Shares of Cineworld fell 60% on Friday after a Wall Street Journal report suggested the firm was preparing to file for bankruptcy “within weeks.”

Cineworld said on Monday it was considering various options for restructuring the business, including a Chapter 11 filing in the US.

It allows a company to continue to operate while negotiating with its creditors.

The company would not comment on whether it is considering filing for bankruptcy in the UK, or the potential impact on its 4,600 employees.

In a statement, the firm said: “Cineworld will expect to maintain its operations as normal until and after any filing and ultimately continue its business for a long period of time without any significant impact on its employees.”

Cineworld has 128 cinemas in the UK and Ireland. It has 9,189 screens across more than 750 sites globally.

It operates in 10 countries including the US, Poland and Israel.

Cineworld currently has a market value of approximately $69m, but approximately $5bn in debt.

The firm has expanded through acquisitions around the world. However, it abandoned plans to take over Cineplex two years ago, leading to a protracted legal battle as the Canadian firm sought substantial damages from Cineworld.

Cineworld shares rose slightly on Monday morning. But at just over 4p, the share price is still a long way off from early 2020, when it hit 220p before the pandemic struck.

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