Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC 0.11%) fell as much as 5.3% on Friday morning, following renewed tension over a second coronavirus relief bill. The parent company of movie theater chain AMC Theatres recovered to a milder 2.8% drop as of 1 p.m. EST today.
Once again, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are locking horns over the need for a new COVID-19 relief bill. McConnell argues that a smaller relief bill is appropriate in light of this week's strong unemployment report, according to Reuters. Pelosi isn't buying that idea because she says the economy is taking long-term damage from the pandemic that cannot be cured by a small relief package.
"That isn't anything that we should even be looking at; it wasn't the right thing before," Pelosi said, aiming for a second stimulus package worth at least $2 trillion.
AMC could use an adrenaline shot of spare cash for America's working and middle classes, but the company will still be in dire straits even if Pelosi gets her way. The health crisis will still keep a lot of movie fans out of their local theaters, opting for digital streaming services and alternative entertainment options instead.
Moreover, the major Hollywood studios have kicked most of their long-awaited holiday blockbusters over to 2021, leaving AMC with a disappointing slate of available titles. The AMC nearest me in Tampa, Florida, for example, is showing a handful of new titles alongside time-honored titles such as Goldfinger (1964), Toy Story (1995), and The Hunt for Red October (1990). AMC will still find it difficult to attract large audiences with ancient content, with or without a serious stimulus package.