AMC Entertainment Says Theatres Will Stay Open Ahead of Key Autumn Movie Releases

AMC, the world's biggest movie theater chain, said it will keep its U.S. and European operations running ahead of key autumn releases, a move that contrasts sharply with closures announced by rival Cineworld Group.

AMC Entertainment  (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report said Tuesday that it will keep most of its global theatres operating, and plans to increase openings in New York and California, ahead of key movie releases in the final months of the year.

AMC, the world's biggest cinema chain, said some 80% of its U.S. theaters remain open,  with a higher percentage in Europe under its Oden Cinemas Group brand. AMC said it will open theatres in New York, as well as California, once it's given permission by health authorities in those two key markets, and said notable near-term releases would support stronger-than-anticipated turnout.

The news comes less than a day after Cineworld Group’s Regal Entertainment Holdings said it would temporarily shutter its U.S and U.K. operations following disappointing summer receipts and the delay of the next James Bond epic.

"Some Of Our Best Partners Like Disney, With Its Much Anticipated Soul, And Universal With The Croods: A New Age, Have New Movies Scheduled For Theatrical Release Over The Next Month And A Half. Warner Bros.’ Tenet Has Been Stimulating Moviegoers And Is Still Leading The Box Office," Said Ceo Adam Aron. "And This Weekend, The War With Grandpa, A New Movie Title Starring The Legendary Robert De Niro, Will Be Prominent All Across The U.s. On The Big Screens Of AMC.”

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“Fortunately for AMC, our groundbreaking agreement with Universal Studios announced earlier this summer puts AMC in a position where we can open our theatres when others may feel the need to close," he added. "We are fully comfortable showing Universal films in our theaters, even as they implement premium video on demand as we have mutually agreed. This is because AMC will share in premium revenues coming from their early availability in the home.”

AMC shares were marked 2.2% higher in early trading following news of the theater openings at $4.22 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 46.5%.