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AMC Entertainment hails Spiderman and Batman for first quarter beat

AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) Inc shares are heading for a rebound today after the movie theatre chain’s strongest quarter since the pandemic started. Revenue of US$785.7mln for its first quarter and a loss per share of US$0.65 both beat Wall Street’s analyst consensus. “Our results for the first quarter of 2022 represent AMC’s strongest first quarter in two full years,” said chief executive officer Adam Aron. “We continue on our pandemic recovery trajectory, more than quintupling revenues and improving adjusted EBITDA by nearly 80% compared to a year ago.” The continued success of Spiderman: No Way Home for a second quarter, along with the box office triumphs of The Batman and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 helped attract moviegoers out of their homes. For the new quarter, the big release is apparently the Marvel superhero film Dr Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, staring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. “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,” said Aron. He also expressed excitement about the box office outlook for the remainder of 2022, with Tom Cruise’s return in Top Gun: Maverick; more returns for Chris Pratt, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum also returning in Jurassic World Dominion; a pair of big animated comedies for the summer holidays in Minions: The Rise Of Gru and Pixel’s Lightyear; along with two more Marvel efforts in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Thor: Love And Thunder. Aron said the festive release of James Cameron’s Avatar 2 will be a “bell ringer”, with the sequel to what was the top grossing movie of all-time, when it was originally released in 2009. As for AMC, so far in 2022 it has raised US$950mln to refinance debts, acquired 10 new theatres in key markets; and invested US$28 million in gold mining company Hycroft. Aron said the group’s operating and capital allocation priorities “remain unchanged” and whether “leveraging our competencies in theatrical exhibition or our experience in balance sheet management and capital raising, we will continue to take bold, decisive action to strengthen AMC for the future”. With the results released after Monday’s closing bell on Wall Street, the shares rose 2.6% to US$12.84 in after-market trading, having fallen 9% amid the wider sell-off yesterday and 53% since the start of the year.