Not even the tag-team of Spider-Man and Batman could make AMC Entertainment profitable during the first quarter. Still, shares of the movie theater chain rose more than 4% after hours Monday after it posted a narrower-than-expected loss during the period.
AMC has made big strides towards recovery since the pandemic shuttered all of its locations globally in 2020, but a limited slate of new films during the first three months of the year meant fewer movie tickets were sold compared to pre-pandemic levels.
However, the recent release of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” kicks off a steady stream of new, and hotly anticipated, cinematic debuts that will bolster AMC’s ticket sales in the coming months.
“Our results for the first quarter of 2022 represent AMC’s strongest first quarter in two full years,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement Monday.
“The cumulative success of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ ‘The Batman,’ ‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ and this past weekend’s opening of ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,’ should leave no doubt about the enduring appeal of theatrical exhibition,” he said. “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.”
While “No Way Home” and “The Batman” had solid runs in theaters and AMC saw nearly 40 million visitors during the quarter, revenues collected during the period did not outweigh the nearly $1 billion AMC spent on operating expenses and rent.
The movie theater chain reported a net loss of $337.4 million, or 65 cents a share, compared to a loss of $567.2 million, or $1.42 per share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company lost 52 cents per share, a narrower loss than the 63 cents analysts had expected the company to lose during the quarter, according to a survey from Refinitiv.
Revenue rose to $785.7 million from $148.3 million last year, and topped the $743 million analysts had expected.
AMC ended the quarter with $1.3 billion in available liquidity. The stock closed down 9% Monday as the broader market suffered a selloff.