AMC partners with Zoom to host virtual meetings in its theaters
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.