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, Cinemark Break Opening-Night Records Screening ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

AMC Theatres, the largest theatrical exhibitor in the world, announced that Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home broke its opening-night box office records. The movie was the single-highest grossing movie title on its opening night in the chain’s history, for a title opening in the month of December. It also was the second-highest grossing movie title on its opening night of all-time, falling just short of Avengers: Endgame, which opened in 2019.

Approximately 1.1 million people attended a screening at a U.S. AMC theater on Friday, Dec. 17. This was the single highest number of people watching one movie on one day at an AMC screen during all of calendar years 2020 and 2021. Attendance for Spider-Man at AMC’s international theaters was also robust.

“Needless to say, we are ever so happy to see a record-setting number of people returning to the cinema to capture the magic offered at AMC movie theatres,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

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Separately, Cinemark, which operates 4,440 screens across the Century, Tinseltown and Rave brands in the United States, said enthusiasm for No Way Home set a U.S. box office record, delivering the chain’s best opening night of all time. Ticket sales for the movie skyrocketed through advance sales and continued until openingwith a meaningful portion of fans returning to the theater for the first time since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Cinemark said consumer demand to see the live-action superhero movie in an ultra-immersive auditorium resulted in record-setting XD purchases.

“The sheer volume of people who came to see this film on the biggest screen, many for the first time since the pandemic, underscores the irreplaceable value of the in-theater experience, which we are thrilled to continue to offer in collaboration with our studio partners,” said Justin McDaniel, SVP of global content. “Congratulations to the entire Sony team for a remarkable opening performance for their latest blockbuster.”

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.”

Cinemark: Advance ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Ticket Sales Near All-Time Exhibitor High

Hype for the pending Dec. 17 theatrical debut of Sony Pictures’ latest installment in the webslinger franchise, Spider-Man: No Way Home, continues to build, with Cinemark Dec. 1 disclosing that advance ticket sales are the second-highest in the exhibitor’s history.

The movie, directed by Jon Watts, is the third starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and also starring Zendaya. The previous installment: Spider-Man: Far From Home, became highest-grossing franchise release with $1.13 billion in global ticket sales.

Plano, Texas-based Cinemark, which operates 5,900 screens in the U.S. and South America, said advance sales are approaching that of 2019 record holder Disney/Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame.

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“This surge of ticket sales proves the power of an exclusive theatrical release for a compelling film, especially as people are eager to get out of their homes and share in a communal experience,” Justin McDaniel, SVP of Global Content at Cinemark, said in a statement.

The sentiments are shared by rival AMC Theatres. The nation’s largest exhibitor experienced its second-busiest ticket sales day (Nov. 29) for a single movie title in the company’s history. It also was the single busiest ticket sales day since AMC re-opened many of its screens during the summer of 2020, from their initial coronavirus closings in March 2020.

AMC’s ticket sales for No Way Home came within 1.5% of record holder Avengers: Endgame.

A key sales driver for AMC was a collaboration with Sony Pictures offering the first ever NFT (non-fungible token) promotion by a major theatrical exhibitor. A limited quantity of up to 86,000 NFTs (which can be traded like shares of stock) were made available to AMC Stubs Premiere, A-List and Investor Connect members, with one NFT being given per qualifying member. To qualify, members had to be among the first 86,000 to purchase their opening day tickets (or in the case of AMC Stubs A-List members who were the first to reserve their seats), at any and all U.S. AMC Theatres locations.

AMC Theatres CEO: ‘We Broke the Internet’ Selling ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Movie NFTs

AMC Theatres’ website almost crashed Sunday (Nov. 28) when it began offering advanced tickets to Sony Pictures’ pandemic-delayed Spider-Man: No Way Home, now debuting in theaters on Dec. 17.

Driving the slowdown was AMC’s first foray into the non-fungible token (NFT) market. Specifically, the nation’s largest exhibitor, beginning Nov. 28, tweeted it would offer the first-ever NFTs surrounding the “Spider-Man” movie franchise to the first 86,000 AMC Stubs Premiere, AMC Stubs A-List, and AMC Investor Connect members who bought advanced tickets online.

The announcement triggered an influx of online traffic, causing a surge as customers tried to get their hands on the unique digital artwork, or NFTs, that can be traded like shares of stock.

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“It’s like we broke the internet,” CEO Adam Aron told Fox Business Network’s “The Claman Countdown.” “My tweets in the last 24 hours have been read three-and-a-half million times. The traffic we had to our website and mobile app last night were the highest that AMC has ever seen.”

Adam said AMC worked with Sony and blockchain expert WAX to come up with 100 different NFTs around No Way Home. The strategy worked as AMC sold more tickets Sunday night than it has ever sold in an overnight shift before.

“We’re talking massive surges above normal,” Aron said.

When asked if No Way Home would be the chain’s highest-grossing release, Aron said the title is currently locked in a battle with the 2018 Marvel Studios’ release Avengers: Endgame, a title that grossed nearly $2.8 billion in ticket sales, including $858 million domestically.

“It’s really close,” he said. “The point is, [No Way Home] is a really big movie. It’s going to be a really big movie. And we sold a tremendous number of tickets.”

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.”

Warner Bros./AMC Theatres Re-Releasing ‘American Sniper’ for Veterans Day Fundraiser

AMC Theatres is set to re-release Warner Bros. Pictures’ American Sniper from director Clint Eastwood on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) as part of a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The largest North American exhibition chain will donate all $5 ticket sales to the nonprofit, which assists wounded U.S. military personnel across a variety issues.

The 2014 movie, which showcases U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, was nominated for six Academy Awards. The movie generated $350 million domestically, and almost $550 million worldwide.

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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 Expands Cryptocurrency Use, Acceptance

AMC Theatres Sept. 16 disclosed it would expand acceptance of the controversial Internet-based currency for online ticket and concession purchases. AMC in August announced it would begin accepting Bitcoin by the end of the year.

In a social media post, CEO Adam Aron said the movie chain, the world’s largest theatrical exhibitor, would include additional forms of crypto currency. The chain also accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay.

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The chain is joining a growing number of companies receptive to alternate forms of digital payment such as cryptocurrency, which tout lower transaction fees than credit and debit cards, in addition to wider appeal among tech-savvy consumers. Critics contend that with few government controls, cryptocurrency remains a confusing and mysterious form of tender that can be fraught with risk and manipulation.

With business transactions verified and recorded by a decentralized system using cryptography, rather than by a centralized authority (i.e. U.S. Treasury), cryptocurrency uses digital ledgers, or blockchains distributed across a network of computer systems.