AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) says it has received tremendous consumer interest in its plan to rent out its theaters.
After a four-week beta test, the theater operator is launching the private screening program nationally and says it has fielded more than four times the number of inquiries about theater rentals as it did in all of 2019.
Raising the curtain
With Hollywood essentially closed until 2021 because studios continue to shift most new movie releases into next year, theater operators have been left with few opportunities to lure moviegoers in. AMC has said the situation is so dire that it may run out of money by the end of the year.
Renting out the theaters, though, allows it to at least utilize its assets that might otherwise remain empty. AMC says the response has been overwhelming; it has received more than 110,000 inquiries in the four-week period since it began the soft rollout, or quadruple the 26,000 rentals it made last year.
Up to 20 moviegoers can rent the theater for $99 plus tax. To see one of the popular current releases, such as the Christopher Nolan spy thriller Tenet or the horror comedy Freaky, rental costs can range between $149 and $349 plus tax, depending upon location. There are no minimum concession stand purchases required, but outside food and drink is prohibited.
Guests must book the private screenings at least one day in advance and they can use either AMC's website or its mobile app.
The inquiries indicate there remains latent demand from consumers for movies, but also the $99 price is a comparable value to pay-per-view showings because moviegoers are also enjoying the big-screen experience.