AMC could start accepting bitcoin as payment by the end of 2021

FILE - In this May 13, 2020 file photo, AMC Empire 25 theatre appears on 42nd Street in New York. The nation’s largest movie theater chain changed its position on mask-wearing less than a day after the company became a target on social media for saying it would defer to local governments on the issue. AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron said Friday that its theaters will require patrons to wear masks upon reopening, which will begin in July. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File).

Cinema operator AMC Entertainment will have the technology in place to receive payment in bitcoin by the end of the year, as payment for movie tickets and concessions, the company’s CEO said on a call discussing its results.

AMC beat second-quarter revenue estimates on Monday, lifted by the return of moviegoers to its theaters after a year of closures and restrictions, sending its shares up nearly six per cent in extended trading.

The latest installment of the “Fast and Furious” series “F9: The Fast Saga” and “Godzilla vs Kong” gave AMC much-needed relief from the blows it has taken from the pandemic over the past year due to theater closures.

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“In short, AMC crushed it in Q2,” Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron said on a conference call.

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Nearly all of AMC’s theaters reopened during the quarter as more people got vaccinated and pandemic-related curbs were eased.

But ticket sales at the world’s largest theater chain are still far off the billions it was raking in two years ago, with film release cycles yet to pick up and the threat of the Delta variant of the coronavirus hanging over audiences.

Click to play video: 'AMC warns investors against buying stock, says they could lose all their money'
AMC warns investors against buying stock, says they could lose all their money

Revenue at the company, one of the “meme stocks” at the center of a boom in small-time investing this year, rose 19% to $444.7 million in the quarter ended June 30. Analysts on average had expected $382.1 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

AMC raised another $1.25 billion of new equity capital in the quarter, taking AMC’s quarter-ending liquidity to more than $2 billion.

“Thanks to increased vaccination counts in the countries we serve, we started to see rising movie going demand, and we safely welcomed more than 22 million guests back to our theaters across the globe during the course of the second quarter,” said AMC.

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Excluding items, the company posts a loss of 71 cents per share, much smaller than analysts’ expectation of 91 cents.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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