AMC shares spike after top theater chain says 70% of locations will be open this weekend

A medical worker wearing a mask walks near the AMC movie theater in Times Square amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 7, 2020 in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Shares of AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., jumped more than 16% in premarket trading Wednesday after the company announced Tuesday that more than 70% of its domestic locations would be open by Sept. 4.

AMC is expected to open around 140 additional theaters this weekend, including the several theaters in California, which will be the first to reopen in the state since Covid-19 led to widespread closures.

Notably, this weekend is the debut of Warner Bros.’ hotly anticipated Christopher Nolan film “Tenet.” 

AMC shares have made gains in recent weeks, as reopening plans bolstered investor confidence that the company will be able to withstand the pandemic’s financial impact. In June, AMC acknowledged that the outbreak could have pushed it towards bankruptcy. 

Since the start of the year, AMC shares have fallen 16%, but they are down about 45% from a year ago. The stock has a market value of nearly $664 million. 

The rise in the number of open theaters means that the film industry will be able to make more money in the coming weeks. Currently, attendance at cinemas is capped at 50% in most states.

Last weekend, less than 50% of U.S.-based theaters were open and operational, according to data from Comscore. It’s unclear how many theaters will be open this weekend because that information does not become available until later in the week. 

Rival theater Cinemark told CNBC that it will have more than 70% of its domestic circuit reopen by Sept. 11.

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