AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. is enjoying a foot-traffic boost thanks to “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and summer blockbusters “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” according to U.S. data from analytics company

“Despite the ongoing economic headwinds impacting many consumer segments, out-of-home entertainment emerged as one of summer’s major winners — in large part thanks to the blockbuster success of Barbie and Oppenheimer,” said in a statement shared exclusively with MarketWatch. “The movies, both released on July 21st, 2023, drove massive and sustained year-over-year increase in weekly visits to leading chains, including AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark.”

The data also suggest that cinema chains are getting closer to prepandemic visit numbers. Compared with 2019, overall visits to AMC

and Regal during the third quarter were down by 16.9% and 19%, an improvement over 30.8% and 32.1%, respectively, in the second quarter, according to Cinemark Holdings Inc.’s

third-quarter 2023 foot traffic even exceeded third-quarter 2019 visits by 0.9%.

Related: AMC still riding a ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ wave

“Part of the movie theater visit growth was likely driven by an increase in the share of repeat visitors,” said in the statement, citing the massive buzz around the “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” movies this summer. “’Barbenheimer’ emerged as a cultural phenomenon, with some movie-goers watching both movies as a double feature — and many more who first came to theaters for ‘Barbie’ or ‘Oppenheimer’ may have returned later to watch the other film,” the company said, adding that customers enjoying “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” were likely reminded of the pleasures of watching films in theaters.

“The Equalizer 3,” starring Denzel Washington, which was released on Sept. 1, brought another visit spike, said, and the eagerly anticipated “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” which opened on Oct. 12, then delivered a major boost, mostly for AMC, which is also the movie’s theatrical distributor. During the first week of the movie’s release, AMC’s combined share of movie-theater visits relative to Regal and Cinemark jumped to 49.6%, up from 41.8% just a week earlier. Regal’s share fell to 29.1% from 32.9% and Cinemark’s share fell to 21.3% from 25.3% over the same period.

AMC Theatres Distribution and subdistribution partners Variance Films, Trafalgar Releasing, Cinepolis and Cineplex Inc. have clinched deals with movie-theater operators representing more than 8,500 theaters globally to show the Taylor Swift film, according to AMC.

Don’t miss: Taylor Swift tops Martin Scorsese at box office despite strong start for ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” was breaking records even before its scheduled release on Oct. 13, prompting more showings to be added. On Oct. 11, Swift tweeted that early access showings would be held on Oct. 12, citing “unprecedented demand” for the movie.

“Due to the publicized nature of Taylor Swift’s AMC distribution deal, some fans may have mistakenly assumed that the movie would only be showing at AMC venues. AMC may have also had an easier time accommodating the ‘surprise’ October 12th early showing, giving the chain an advantage in catering to the early viewers,” said in the statement. “Either way, AMC’s outsize piece of the ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ pie — both from the distribution deal and from its significant ticket sales — highlights one more path that movie theater chains can take to remain relevant in 2023.”

The movie shattered the record for the biggest global opening weekend for a concert film, racking up $128 million in box-office returns, according to Comscore. Imax Corp. 

also announced that “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” had a $13 million debut in global box office, making it the largest Imax opening for a concert or documentary film by a musical artist.

Also see: AMC price target, estimates, raised by Roth MKM as box-office results improve

The film brought in an estimated $31 million domestically and $10.5 million internationally during its second weekend, according to Comscore data released Sunday. Since its opening, the movie has brought in $164.79 million globally, Comscore said.

AMC reports third-quarter results after market close on Nov. 8. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are looking for the movie-theater chain and meme-stock darling to report a loss of 26 cents in adjusted earnings per share and revenue of $1.23 billion. Shares of AMC have fallen 73.3% in 2023, compared with the S&P 500’s
gain of 10.5%.

Cinemark reports third-quarter results before market open on Nov. 3. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are looking for Cinemark to report adjusted earnings of 38 cents a share and revenue of $837 million. Shares of Cinemark have risen 77.6% in 2023.

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