AMC updates as “Godzilla vs. Kong” renews confidence in the box office at home
AMC Empire 25 in Times Square is open as New York City theaters reopen for the first time in a year after the coronavirus shutdown on March 5, 2021.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images
“Godzilla vs. Kong” restores confidence in the box office.
The Warner Bros. movie, which released the best opening weekend of any movie released during the coronavirus pandemic, “destroys ongoing concerns about the importance of the cinema window and shows a solid path to resurgence,” said Eric Wold, an analyst at B. Riley Securities , in a note Monday.
“Godzilla vs. Kong” signals that consumers are dying to go to the movies for new blockbuster features and suggests that the summer slate could have similar success.
Wold has also upgraded AMC Entertainment to buy, raising its price target from $ 7 to $ 13. The company’s shares rose 13.5% on Monday and have risen more than 410% since January, in part due to renewed confidence in the company’s ability to survive the pandemic. AMC has a market value of $ 4.2 billion.
“We remain impressed with the management’s ability to weather the pandemic headwinds by both strengthening the bottom line and negotiating with landlords to improve the runway by 2022,” Wold wrote. “And as the largest exhibitor in North America that also operates the majority of premium IMAX screens, we see AMC as well positioned to benefit from the predicted recovery in the industry and to match pre-pandemic visitor numbers by 2023.”
AMC has been hit by the pandemic. The company was already in debt to acquiring smaller theater chains and adding luxury seating to its existing locations. Closures, capacity constraints, and the lack of new movie releases put a significant strain on the company’s finances.
The performance of “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a bright light for AMC and the rest of the cinema industry.
The film, which debuted domestically on Wednesday and released on HBO Max, grossed $ 32.2 million on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and brought in $ 48.5 million for the entire five-day Easter weekend in the US and Canada a.
“We believe consumers want to get out of the house and return to the theater, and these results are very telling, especially considering the film was available for free to HBO Max subscribers at the same time it opened in theaters,” Wold wrote.
Less than 60% of the North American theater base was open on weekends, and theater capacity limits remain between 25% and 50%.
“We think these results are impressive considering the previous movie, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, opened for just $ 47.8 million in May 2019 (all theaters are open with no capacity restrictions) “wrote Wold.