The 1990s were a period of competitive over-expansion for the movie theater industry, with companies paying for new and enhanced theaters (i.e. megaplexes with stadium seating). Movie theaters began declaring bankruptcy because they couldn't sustain the debt they had irresponsibly created.
Anschutz Investments (AI), where Michael was an employee, was involved in acquiring three movie chains that were headed toward bankruptcy - United Artists, Edwards, and Regal.
Regal had been run into the ground by KKR and Hicks-Muse, two of the largest private equity firms in the United States. Had these chains been left to their own devices, they would have shut down and thousands would have lost their jobs.
Michael and his team quickly worked to develop a plan that restructured these companies and put them on solid ground financially.
Today, Regal Entertainment Group, that Michael helped to save is the flagship in the theater industry and employs 25,832 individuals. Since Anschutz acquired the company under Michael's leadership, Regal has thrived and has added over 2,000 employees.