AMC Entertainment Narrows Q1 Losses Thanks to Superhero Movies

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home and Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman contributed to AMC Entertainment narrowing its first-quarter fiscal loss (ended March 31) to $337.4 million, compared with a net loss of $567.2 million during the previous-year period when the world’s largest exhibitor was operating at less than 50% capacity. Revenue increased to $785.7 million, compared with $148.3 million for the first quarter of 2021.

“Our results represent AMC’s strongest first quarter in two full years,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “We continue on our pandemic recovery trajectory, more than quintupling revenue and improving adjusted [pre-tax income] by nearly 80% compared to a year ago.”

Aron said the cumulative success of the aforementioned titles, along with Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog 2 drove the quarterly revenue gain.

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Indeed, global AMC attendance increased more than 39 million, from 6.8 million a year ago. U.S. theatrical attendance topped 25.8 million, from 6.2 million. International market attendance topped 13.2 million, from 558,000.
AMC operated an average of 10,099 screens in the quarter, compared with 6,724 screens a year ago.

“When Hollywood releases films that moviegoers want to see, people flock to cinemas in huge numbers to watch movies where they were designed to be seen, in theatres, on the big screen,” Aron said.

AMC Theatres Buys 22% Stake in Gold, Silver Mining Company

AMC Theatres, the largest theatrical exhibitor in the world, March 15 announced it is buying 22% of Hycroft Mining Holding Corporation and its 71,000-acre gold and silver mine in northern Nevada. AMC contends the mine has some 15 million ounces of gold deposits and some 600 million ounces of silver deposit.

In times of fiscal and global uncertainty, it is believed that investment in gold and silver can be an investment lifeline — as well as an appeal to meme stock traders.

AMC chairman/CEO Adam Aron said the attraction of the investment was that it required only a “nominal amount” ($27.9 million) of AMC cash for ownership of more than 23 million shares.

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“To state the obvious, one would not normally think that a movie theatre company’s core competency includes gold or silver mining,” Aron said in a statement.

The executive contends the theatrical chain has been able to successfully navigate the COVID pandemic through its exhibition footprint a time of severe liquidity challenge, the raising of capital, and strengthening of balance sheets, as well as communicating with individual retail investors.

“It is all that experience and skill that we bring to the table to assist the talented mining professionals at Hycroft,” Aron said.

The CEO said the box office success of Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Batman as well as 2022’s promising theatrical slate, heighten internal convictions that the chain is on the path to fiscal recovery and on solid footing to diversify its investments.

“Our strategic investment … is the result of our having identified a company in an unrelated industry that appears to be just like AMC of a year ago,” Aron said. “Investors should think creatively and boldly about AMC’s future, because within the company, we ourselves have been thinking creatively and boldly about our future.”

In 2021, Aron was able to up AMC’s financial assets to $1.8 billion through long-term debt and stock sales. To monetize that cash, Aron said AMC has to “play on offense” to grow the company. That included adding Imax and Dolby Cinema premium screens, launching non-fungible token (NFT) marketing plans with major studios, accepting cryptocurrency to boost theatre attendance, and entering the retail popcorn sales market.

“Now, we are taking AMC’s demonstrated achievement in writing the play book as to how to navigate through liquidity challenge and applying our lessons learned to another entity in Hycroft Mining,” Aron said.

AMC Theatres Narrows Q4 Loss 80%

AMC Entertainment, corporate parent of the nation’s largest movie exhibitor AMC Theatres, Feb. 1 released preliminary fourth-quarter fiscal results for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2021.

Driven in part by the box office phenom Spider-Man: No Way Home, total revenue topped $1.17 billion, compared with $162.5 million in the previous-year period. The net loss narrowed between $194.8 million and $114.8 million, which includes an estimated non-cash impairment charge related to long lived assets of $50 million to $125 million.

That compared with a net loss of $946.1 million in Q4 2020, which included a non-cash impairment charge related to long lived assets, definite and indefinite lived intangible assets and goodwill of $466.1 million.

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Pre-tax earnings range from $146.8 million to $151.8 million, compared with a pretax loss of 327.5 million in 2020.

“AMC’s 2021 results improved significantly as the year progressed, and we finished the year with the strongest quarter in two years,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “The fourth quarter of 2021 marks a meaningful milestone with positive [pretax earnings], positive operating cash generated of more than $215 million, and a record year-ending liquidity position of $1.8 billion.”

AMC Theatres: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Sold More Than 7 Million Tickets Opening Weekend

AMC Theatres Dec. 20 said that based on the opening weekend strength of Marvel/Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home, the exhibitor shattered several post-reopening attendance records. The movie finished the four-day period as the biggest December opening of all time, and AMC set new post-reopening domestic attendance records on Thursday (Dec. 16), then broke that record on Friday (Dec. 17), and then broke that record again on Saturday (Dec. 18).

More than 2 million people watched a movie at an AMC location around the world on Dec. 18, which is the most tickets sold in a single day since Christmas Day 2019. With the Dec. 19 domestic attendance finishing at more than 1 million tickets sold, it marks the first time that AMC has sold at least 1 million tickets daily over a four-day period since December 2019.

AMC said moviegoers sought out “premium large format” (PLF) experiences at AMC, as this past weekend was the biggest ever weekend for the chain’s select “PRIME” locations featuring special sights, sound, and comfort seating. It was also the second biggest ever weekend for Dolby Cinema at AMC and the fourth biggest weekend for Imax at AMC.

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In all, AMC recorded more than 7 million tickets sold at locations globally, including more than 5 million tickets sold in the United States. Attendance was off to a strong start Dec. 16, as moviegoers rushed screens to qualify for an exclusive “Spider-Man” NFT, the first ever of its kind from a major theatrical exhibitor. The movie also set a new single-day international attendance record on Dec. 18.

“Historically, December is one of the biggest months of the year for major blockbuster releases, so to … set a new all-time opening weekend box office record this month is significant not just for AMC, but for the entire theatrical industry,” Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, said in a statement.

AMC Theatres Launches Branded ‘I Own AMC’ NFTs

On the heels of the popular launch of Spider-Man: No Way Home-themed nonfungible tokens (NFTs), AMC Theatres Dec. 6 announced a second NFT to all AMC Investor Connect members, to be delivered by the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX).

NFTs have become a potentially lucrative means for owners of intellectual property to sell virtual crypto currency-based trading cards to fans that can fluctuate in value like shares of stock.

The Spider-Man themed NFT was the first ever issued in significant quantity by a theatrical exhibitor, and the AMC Investor Connect “I Own AMC” NFT will be the second, according to the exhibitor.

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“After our first NFT met with enthusiasm earlier this week, there was no doubt we would embark on issuing another NFT,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “I can say with certainty there will be more NFTs in AMC’s future.”

Indeed, since accepting most forms of crypto currency for online ticket purchases earlier this year, AMC has now embraced the world of self-promoting NFTs as way of rewarding loyal moviegoers, turned “investors” in the company.

“Building on the demand from our first AMC launch, WAX continues to trailblaze in innovation by introducing a unique NFT membership program,” added William Quigley, co-founder of WAX. “Through our continued partnership with AMC, we will offer NFTs that unlock real-world experiences.”

AMC Theatres Narrows Q3 Loss, Ups Revenue

AMC Theatres Nov. 8 said it generated a third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) loss of $224 million, down from a loss of $901 million during the previous-year period during the height of the pandemic. Revenue increased more than six-fold to $763.2 million, from revenue of $119.5 million last year.

Through nine months of the fiscal year, revenue increased more than 25% to $1.35 billion, from $1.07 billion last year, underscoring exhibitors’ slow return to normalcy in the pandemic era.

“For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2019, substantially all of our worldwide theatres were open for the entirety of a calendar quarter,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

Indeed, AMC attendance reached nearly 40 million worldwide, up from 6.5 million moviegoers during the previous-year period. Through nine months, nearly 69 million moviegoers have frequented AMC Theatres, up 2.6% from 67 million at this point last year.

In the quarter, U.S. attendance mushroomed to 26.7 million, from 1.9 million during the previous-year period. Through nine months, domestic attendance increased 22% to 50.7 million, from 41.6 million a year ago.

“We are encouraged by the results from the beginning of the fourth quarter (ending Dec. 31),” Aron said. “Indeed, as we announced just a week ago, our October theater admissions revenues were the highest of any month since before the global pandemic. That is just one more good sign among many we have seen in 2021.”

AMC to Sell Branded Popcorn, Concessions Outside Theaters

AMC Theatres announced plans to sell branded popcorn and other concessions at pop-up kiosks, stores and counters outside its normal theatrical footprint locations.

The retail gourmet popcorn business is currently a $2 billion annual market, according to industry estimates.

“AMC Theatres Perfectly Popcorn” will be sold to consumers pre-made or in microwave packages at select retail locations, including shopping malls, grocery stores, and convenience stores beginning in 2022. Additional retail products include movie-themed candy, Coke items and bottled water.

“The announcement … is so natural and logical, one wonders why the idea has not been tried before,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement, adding the exhibitor currently pops about 50 tons of popcorn per day.

“With this new AMC initiative, we expect to reach entirely new segments of the U.S. population,” he said. “This is an opportunity to diversify our business and to create a new revenue stream for our company.”

AMC Theatres Sees Record Pandemic-Era Opening Weekend Following ‘Venom 2’ Release

AMC Entertainment Oct. 4 announced it set a new post-reopening record for weekend attendance (Thursday through Sunday), as well new post-opening records for ticket admission revenue and food and beverage sales following the theatrical bow of Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and the latest James Bond movie, No Time to Die, overseas.

Through Oct. 3, more than 2.4 million people watched movies at domestic AMC Theatre locations. An additional more than 1.4 million moviegoers visited AMC’s theaters overseas, bringing the global total to a record 3.9 million, a new post-reopening record.

Venom 2 is the second-largest October opening in domestic box office history.

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Internationally, the success of AMC-owned Odeon Cinemas was driven by MGM’s No Time to Die, which opened to an overseas industry-wide $119 million. Daniel Craig’s reported last fling as Agent 007 also shattered various ticket sale records, including in the U.K. where Saturday ticket admissions revenue was the highest for one day of any film in the entire James Bond franchise dating back to its bow in 1962. The movie opens Oct. 8 in the United States. Venom 2 opens in Europe on Oct. 15.

“Yet again, AMC is celebrating an important milestone as we continue striving to generate a full recovery for our movie theatre business both at home and abroad,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

Adams said the initial success of the two new theatrical releases demonstrates a pent-up demand among moviegoers to return to movie theaters.

“To the self-proclaimed sages who routinely and mindlessly predict the demise of cinemas, it is my view that it is simply wrong to underestimate the enormous consumer appeal and resilience of movie theaters,” Aron said.

AMC Theatres Hires Nicole Kidman in $25 Million Marketing Campaign

AMC Entertainment has hired Nicole Kidman as its pitchperson in a $25 million marketing campaign aimed at jumpstarting moviegoer interest in returning to enjoy the theatrical experience.

The 15-, 30- and 60-second “We Make Movies Better” spots  feature Kidman encouraging people to return to the cineplex and relive box office magic.

“As we have said repeatedly of late, thanks to the billions of dollars we have raised this year, AMC is strong, and it is time for AMC to play on offense again,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

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The price of the marketing campaign is noteworthy considering AMC a year ago was on the brink of bankruptcy as its screens and others remained largely shuttered due to the pandemic.

Following the record $90 million domestic Labor Day box office for Marvel Cinematic Universe release Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, AMC is spreading its wings.

AMC Theatres Sets Labor Day Ticket Sales Record

The fiscal largess from Disney’s $90 million Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opening weekend box office continues to spread throughout the Hollywood food chain.

World’s largest exhibitor AMC Theatres Sept. 7 announced a new Labor Day admissions-revenue record, eclipsing the previous admissions record set during Labor Day weekend in 2013. In addition to the revenue record, the Labor Day weekend marks the first time since the beginning of COVID that attendance during a weekend in 2021 exceeded the same weekend in pre-pandemic 2019.

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More than 2 million people watched movies at AMC’s domestic screens Sept. 2-5. More than 800,000 additional moviegoers visited AMC’s international theaters in Europe and the Middle East.

Shang-Chi opened to a reported $90 million for its domestic opening weekend Sept. 3-6. This is approximately triple the previous Labor Day opening weekend record of $30.6 million set by Rob Zombie’s Halloween in 2007.

“For two overarching reasons, this Labor Day weekend in the United States has been an important milestone for AMC as we steadily work to generate a recovery for our business,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “This is the very first weekend that our attendance numbers were ahead of those of the same weekend pre-pandemic, since we closed our theaters in March of 2020.”

Aron added he was glad Disney opted for a theatrical window versus the hybrid Premier Access/box office distribution model employed for Jungle Cruise and Black Widow. Critics contend Disney undermined the Black Widow box office by concurrently releasing the Marvel movie on PVOD. The film’s star, Scarlett Johansson, is suing Disney alleging the hybrid release strategy undermined her potential financial compensation — reportedly as high as $100 million.