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Why AMC Entertainment Stock Can Thank Tom Cruise Today

Sep 30, 2022

What happened

The success of Top Gun: Maverick at theaters this weekend didn't just benefit media giant Paramount Global. The release  marked a turning point for struggling movie theater operator AMC Entertainment (AMC -0.62%). That brought investors piling into AMC this morning, with the stock jumping as much 12% in early trading. That jump didn't hold, but AMC shares were still up 3.7% as of 1:07 p.m. ET. 

So what

The Top Gun sequel came 36 years after the original, and that helped AMC bring an important audience back into theaters. The film notched the highest-ever Memorial Day weekend opening, with $156 million at the domestic box office in the first four days. Paramount CEO Brian Robbins called it a "historic win" for the movie business. And AMC is a large part of that. 

Smiling people in a crowded movie theater.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The film grossed more than $250 million worldwide over the extended weekend, and about 55% of moviegoers were 35 years of age or older. That was according to Variety, which called the adult audience "the most reluctant demographic to return to multiplexes." 

AMC noted the domestic box office notched a 122% year-over-year increase in attendance. Globally, AMC hosted more than 5 million viewers, including more than 3.3 million for the Tom Cruise movie. 

That's just what the company needed as it has struggled to gain back audiences from the pandemic lull. AMC CEO Adam Aron has tried to be creative to keep the company afloat, by tapping into an excited retail investor base raising billions during the pandemic with stock issuance and debt. Aron also went as far as investing in a gold mining operation as part of his plan to deploy that capital. 

But for AMC to really get back on track, it needs its core business to thrive. That's just what happened over the holiday weekend thanks to Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick.

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