Cinema: AMC gives in to crypto sirens

Posted Nov 13, 2021, 11:58 a.m.

American cinemas want to ride a new wave: cryptocurrencies. Saved from bankruptcy by securities traders, the AMC group, which runs the largest cinema network in the United States, now provides viewers with the ability to purchase their tickets online by paying in bitcoin, ethereum, or litecoin. And it’s not over, dogecoin payments (created in a joke) should continue, the group’s CEO Adam Aron said in a tweet on Friday. AMC is also studying how to allow the use of shiba inu, another cryptocurrency. Parody. This foray into cryptocurrencies will provide clients with new payment solutions, but without creating potentially dangerous financial exposure for AMC to these volatile and poorly supervised assets. “We won’t have any on our balance sheet. As a result, we will not have to face an increase in balance sheet risks, “he said during an exchange with investors. Behind the buzz of this move to cryptocurrency law for AMC, there is a real problem. Cinema is still on the mend in terms of attendance due to the pandemic and competition from video streaming offerings. In this context, cryptocurrency payments are one more step in trying to support cinema tickets by making ticketing services more attractive, especially for an audience, often quite young, who would likely use these virtual currencies.

3 million individual shareholders

But it must be said that AMC is perhaps mostly obliged to keep the rumor going to justify its level of stock market valuation, which some consider stratospheric at $ 20 billion. AMC’s stock gained 1,860% in 2021 and has 3 million individual shareholders! For several months AMC has been part of the “same actions” circle, these actions being the object of bets and discussions of hundreds of thousands of small investors in forums such as Reddit. But, as for GameStop, the virality of the transactions caused extreme volatility for stocks in the stock market.

Such is the enthusiasm for AMC that the quarterly account presentations by Adam Aron and his team are heard by more than 10,000 people. In June it launched a service called “Investor Connect”. With almost 400,000 subscribers already, this tool blurs the lines between marketing and financial communication by offering popcorn and invitations to special screenings, despite the reopening of all its cinemas around the world (AMC operates around 950 cinemas with a total of 10,600 screens) and a level of ticket sales revenue in October at the highest level since the start of the pandemic, the American entertainment group remained largely in deficit in the third quarter. “We are making considerable progress,” Adam Aron said Monday. The virus is still with us, we need to sell more tickets ”.

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