New theaters and big movies make AMC “roaring hot” this summer: CEO

Business


AMC Entertainment CEO and President Adam Aron said investors in the company don’t need to pay much attention to how the market moves.

“As for our stock, you know, sometimes investors are just wrong,” Aron told CNBC on “Power Lunch” on Thursday.

“I think there’s a lot of money to be made because I personally think this is a buying opportunity for AMC,” said Aron, who calls himself a bull.

Shares of AMC Theatres are down 35 percent year to date, compared with competitors IMAX and Cinemark, which are both down 14 percent in the same period.

But Aron, who has also served as CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, pointed out some successes for the company in the last year, including the opening of a new cinema in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last month. It is the country’s first movie theater since they were banned 37 years ago.

Aron said the cinema has been “jam-packed” since opening night, when the first show sold out in fewer than 15 minutes. But he said that’s only because “people didn’t know how to buy our tickets. The next day we sold out in 45 seconds.”

With the growing demand for movies in Saudi Arabia, Aron said AMC was going to add “a lot” of theaters in the country over the next three to five years.

In April, Aron told CNBC that AMC plans to open up to 40 cinemas in 15 cities around Saudi Arabia. By 2030, the country will have a total of 50-100 cinemas in approximately 25 cities.

The CEO said once the plan is carried out AMC will have 50 percent market share in Saudi Arabia. Business in the country will account for 5 to 10 percent of AMC’s revenue and profit generation.

“AMC is booming at the moment,” Aron said on Thursday, with customers hitting the box office in record numbers recently.

“We’ve been setting record after record after record,” he said. “Since September of 2017, we’ve been roaring hot.”

He anticipates May will be one of the biggest months in movie history, with releases such as the new “Star Wars” movie, “Solo,” opening on Friday and other anticipated films coming.

“We’ve got big movies that have had people flock to our theaters recently,” Aron said. “And we’ve got big movies over the next two months.”



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