March 2, 2024

AMC Entertainment’s rising share price has been good for Imax’s business, said Imax CEO Richard Gelfond on Monday.

“AMC is our partner, not our competitor,” said Gelfond in CNBC’s “Squawk Box”. “I think their rating is determined by their fan base and their fan base loves Adam Aron, and they love the asset and they have pushed this stock into the higher ratings – and, you know, doing well for him because they’re our partner . They are going to roll out a lot of screens in the future and their liquidity is good for us. “

Imax, with offices in 84 countries and territories, has an “asset-like model” with no real estate contracts or net debt, making it a “very different type of company” than AMC, Gelfond said.

AMC’s shares have soared about 2,000% this year, in a frenzy primarily fueled by meme-stock-obsessed retailers. AMC raised new capital on the move, including stock sales of $ 230.5 million to Mudrick Capital Management in June and $ 587.4 million in an additional stock offering.

The cinema chain announced earlier last week that it would not issue any more shares, according to its shareholders. This led Loop Capital Markets to say that investors are making a “big mistake” because shareholders typically don’t support any further stock offerings as more stocks can dilute the value of current holdings.

Gelfond’s comments came after a record-breaking Covid pandemic-era theatrical release of Marvel’s Black Widow, which grossed $ 80 million when it debuted in 4,100 domestic box offices. Around 81% of the theaters were open to the public all weekend, according to Comscore.

The domestic release overtook ticket sales for Universal’s “F9,” which received $ 70 million from its theatrical release last month, replacing revenue from “A Quiet Place Part II”.

Black Widow raised $ 78 million in international ticket sales outside of North America.

“It’s a really good, predictable pattern,” said Gelfond. “I’ve always said there won’t be a switch. It won’t be one day that we’ll be back to normal. It’s more like a faucet. From my point of view, it looks like the faucet is working very well.”

Imax made $ 12 million worldwide, including North America, on Black Widow over the weekend. In a press release, the company said the blockbuster film “set records from the pandemic era across the board for Imax.”

Walt Disney also reported worldwide sales of over $ 60 million for “Black Widow” through Disney + Premier Access, the first time ever to report simultaneous streaming revenue. Disney’s next Marvel film “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will only be in theaters, however.

Looking ahead, Gelfond believes the theater industry will continue to consolidate around tentpole films such as “Black Widow”, with medium and smaller films only being shown via streaming releases.

“I think the mix in multiplexes will change in terms of the types of movies, but the blockbusters will drive the multiplex business, and certainly Imax’s business,” said Gelfond.

Correction: Disney’s next Marvel film is “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”. In a previous version, the title was incorrectly specified.