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AMC partners with Zoom to host virtual meetings in its theaters

Illustration of a stock trend line on a movie theater screen

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AMC's partnership with Zoom to turn theaters into giant meeting spaces is the theater chain's latest attempt to find extra ways of making money.

Why it matters: Movie theaters can no longer rely solely on the box office. This move just further underscores how dire it is for the exhibitor business.

Details: AMC and Zoom will launch the venture sometime next year in 17 markets.

  • Companies will be able to book a three-hour window in multiple locations, with AMC and Zoom providing the equipment to set up "Zoom Rooms."
  • The auditoriums can fit between 75 and 150 seats.

The big picture: Despite box office gains compared to the last two years, the theater business is still far from its peak in 2018.

  • That year, U.S. theaters brought in $11.9 billion in ticket sales, according to data from Box Office Mojo. This year's haul through 10 months is $6.1 billion.
  • Cineworld, the No. 2 theater chain around the world, is currently going through a bankruptcy process that could result in a sale or at least will drastically reduce the number of theaters.
  • AMC has been among the most aggressive in trying to find other sources of revenue. CEO Adam Aron has ridden the company's "memestock" wave from retail investors. It also bought a stake in a gold and silver mine and will soon begin selling its popcorn in stores.

What's next: AMC reports its third-quarter earnings Tuesday afternoon after the closing bell.

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