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No surprise here: Taylor Swift, Beyoncé concert films boost AMC quarterly earnings

Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES — Taylor Swift and Beyoncé became AMC's jumpsuit-clad saviors last year, helping the international theater chain continue to recover from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, driving "literally all" its quarterly revenue increase.

While one crossed over from country music and the other is crossing over to country, the industry-disrupting superstars have dominated Hollywood by recently setting their business-savvy sights on the film industry.

How so? Their concert films — "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" and "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé" — bolstered AMC's fourth-quarter 2023 earnings, in part by rewriting the distribution protocol by bypassing studios and releasing the films directly through the theater.

"Despite a diminished box office overall, in the fourth quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago, AMC's revenue grew by 11.5% and AMC's adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] almost tripled," the company's chief executive, Adam Aron, said Wednesday during AMC Entertainment's quarterly earning call. "Literally, all of that increase in AMC's revenue and EBITDA is attributable to our having shown these two movies in our theaters in the U.S. and internationally."

AMC, one of the nation's largest movie chains, said that the films "added greatly" to theater ticket sales across the entire industry and "represented fully one-ninth of the complete fourth quarter domestic industry-wide box office."

Indeed, "Eras" and "Renaissance" smashed box-office records in their opening weekends, collectively earning more than $115 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.

 

"This is a stunning result given that neither of these films were on anyone's drawing board until midyear, and that they were the first movies ever distributed by AMC in our entire 103-year history," Aron said, thanking the Grammy-winning hitmakers

Aron also said the revenue added to "another full year of continued meaningful recovery from the aftermath of the 2020 pandemic," which resulted in the shutdown of many theaters and billions of dollars in losses.

However, shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. were down 12.3% Thursday despite the chain's fourth-quarter results released late Wednesday, MarketWatch reported.

But the earnings were still a win for the theater giant and the industry-disrupting artists. AMC's "new line of business" shared in 43% of the profits with Swift, who received the remaining 57%. Both she and Beyoncé produced and distributed their concert movies by negotiating directly with AMC and cutting out the costly middleman of a traditional Hollywood studio. (Their similar business decisions also made for lovely photo ops of the two artists at their respective film premieres and heart-warming displays of support.)

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