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.”
Atom Tickets, the online movie ticket service co-owned by Lionsgate, has launched an updated app enabling moviegoers to pre-order concessions and skip lines in theaters.
The concession feature, available in the Atom app, is aimed at helping theater owners capture incremental revenue at the snack counter. The company April 17 announced that Southern Theatres and Megaplex Theatres will join AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas, Landmark Cinemas and Emagine Entertainment in offering Atom Tickets pre-order concessions feature to moviegoers.
Currently, the Atom app allows moviegoers to pre-order concessions at participating exhibitors at the time they purchase a movie ticket. With the new feature, moviegoers receive an alert on their smartphone as they near the theater or movie time.
A recent study by Atom Tickets found that 52% of moviegoing respondents cited long lines as the No. 1 reason for skipping concessions. The study also found that 50% of moviegoers would buy more often and buy more items if they could pre-order.
“When we drilled into the specifics of Atom users, we discovered that nearly three-quarters of [them] were already ordering pizza, sandwiches, coffee and more using an app, so this was an immediate area for us to focus on,” Matthew Bakal, co-founder of Atom Tickets, said in a statement.
Indeed, Dar Hackbarth, director of marketing at Southern Theatres, said the app helps innovate the moviegoing experience.
“With Atom, we are able to stay on the front edge of innovation to deliver a more enjoyable moviegoing experience to our patrons,” Hackbarth said.