The world's two biggest cinema operators risk running out of cash by the end of the year after a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic scuppered any chance of a swift recovery.
AMC Entertainment, the US titan behind Odeon, warned it will soon run out of money if demand failed to return.
Meanwhile analysts said that global number two Cineworld could be weeks from collapse. The London-listed - which has shut all its 663 cinemas in the UK and US, with 45,000 jobs at risk - will need to raise $500m (£380m) from lenders to get through to next spring, they added.
Both AMC and Cineworld have opened talks with creditors to access fresh funding as the crisis wreaks havoc across the cinema industry.
AMC said there is a "significant risk" it may not be able to strike a deal.
About a quarter of the UK's 110 Odeon cinemas are only open between Friday and Sunday. Most of AMC's US sites - almost 500 out of 598 - have resumed operations, albeit some with reduced hours.
Cineworld has hired consutlant PJT Partners to help with negotiations as it seeks a lifeline. Lenders appointed Houlihan Lokey and FTI Consulting ahead of what were expected to be tough talks over the future of the heavily indebted company.
Bank of America, an adviser to Cineworld on its aborted £1.6bn acquisition of Canadian rival Cineplex earlier this year, said the roughly $400m the company had in the bank in June would not be enough to get it to Christmas.
Analysts at the US investment bank estimated that Cineworld would burn through about $420m in the second half of 2020, assuming its sites remain closed until the end of the year.
They said: “This suggests the group could run out of cash in November or December."
Bank of America said tapping investors for cash through a rights issue is unlikely, suggesting a deal with lenders is a more probable outcome.
Cineworld previously warned it would need to raise $200m to $300m from investors. But that was was before MGM decided to again delay the new James Bond film No Time To Die from November until April next year, killing one of the few opportunities left in the 2020 calendar to bring in cash.
The company is hoping to renegotiate terms on its corporate overdraft - called a revolving cash flow facility (RCF) - and access additional support from taxpayers.
Kiranjot Grewal, a research analyst at Bank of America, estimated that about $500m of new funds will be needed to get through the first six months of 2021 if no RCF extension is granted. This will be closer to $700m if the company starts paying full rents again next year, he said.
The warning came as it emerged that a US hedge fund could player a major role in Cineworld's fight for survival.
Centerbridge Partners provided the bulk of a $250m secured loan to Cineworld in June to enable the operator to weather the fallout from the first wave of coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.
The prospect of a US-headquartered Centerbridge, a distressed debt specialist, featuring in some of Cineworld's top ranking debt will further fuel City speculation that a debt-for-equity swap is on the cards.
Over the weekend Cineworld rival Vue said it would shut a quarter of its UK cinemas for three days a week.
Cineworld declined to comment on the Bank of America analysis. Its shares fell another 4.7pc on Tuesday to close at 28.2p, valuing the company at less than £390m.