AMC Theaters sets new attendance record as industry continues to recover from pandemic

Business

The AMC Empire 25 theater reopens after COVID-19 closures, Friday, March 5, 2021, in New York. Movie theater chain AMC is selling 8.5 million shares to investment firm Mudrick Capital Management, raising $230.5 million and cashing in on the meme stock frenzy that has helped boost its stock price in recent months. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. said Tuesday, June 1 that it will use most of the proceeds for acquisitions of additional theater leases and to invest in its existing theaters to make them more attractive to moviegoers. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

LEAWOOD, Kan. — AMC Theaters said people are returning to the big screen, and its movie theaters are as busy as they’ve been in the past 16 months.

The Leawood-based company told investors that more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. watched a movie in an AMC-owned theater between Thursday, July 8 and Sunday, June 11. Another 650,000 people watched a movie at one of AMC’s international location.

The company said it’s the second time in three weekends that AMC set a new post-reopening record.

The majority of movie-goers decided to watch “Black Widow.” It was the first Marvel movie to be released in two years. The Walt Disney Co. said Sunday the superhero pic generated an estimated $80 million in ticket sales in North America.

The movie also had a watch-at-home option. Disney said the movie earned another $60 million in Disney+ Premier Access rentals.

In all, “Black Widow” grossed more than $215 million in its first weekend.

“Black Widow,” starring Scarlett Johansson, has had a long journey to theaters. Originally slated to come out in May of 2020, the blockbuster was delayed because of the pandemic. Disney ultimately decided to release it “day and date,” meaning it came out on more than one platform at the same time. “Black Widow,” in theaters and for a $30 rental on its subscription streaming service Disney+.

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