What happened

Shares of AMC Entertainment (AMC 9.56%) were soaring 17% higher in afternoon trading Friday, despite announcements that movies such as the premiere of the latest James Bond film No Time to Die have been delayed yet again, this time until October.

So what

Although delaying films should have a negative impact since few moviegoers will come to the cinema without new titles, AMC is opening dozens of theaters this month that were previously forced to remain closed.

Theatergoers cheering

Image source: Getty Images.

Nothing has really changed in regards to the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but a number of cities and states that were previously adamant about keeping public venues closed have suddenly had a change of heart and will now allow them to reopen.

Illinois, for example, reshut theaters in November, but just released a plan that includes allowing theater operators to reopen. AMC will reopen seven theaters today and dozens more on Jan. 29. However, masks will be required and occupancy limits of 25% of capacity will be imposed.

Now what

While not having a fresh slate of films is a problem, being closed was even worse, as AMC has been able to generate at least some income from open theaters through innovative ideas such as renting out the entire hall to groups.

Other films getting pushed back include Cinderella, which will now come out in July, as well as sequels to Peter Rabbit and Ghostbusters that have been delayed until November.