People in this country and abroad are apparently really, really eager to get back to movie theaters. On the happy news that it just enjoyed its best weekend for attendance so far this year, cinema king AMC Theatres (AMC -5.64%) saw its shares perform like a hot new movie on Tuesday. In sharp contrast to the marginal decline of the S&P 500 index, AMC stock closed the day nearly 4% higher.
This past weekend wasn't only a high-water mark for AMC in terms of U.S. box office, it also smashed the year's record for foreign attendance. Box office revenue for the weekend was up by 12% globally compared to the same period in 2019. All told, nearly 6 million people visited AMC theaters to watch a film.
The weekend's domestic box office gross revenue was up by 25% over the previous weekend. That's saying something, as that was the long July 4th weekend, which topped its preceding weekend by almost 160%.
The new record was aided, it nearly goes without saying, by a strong lineup of freshly and recently released titles.
The latest movie in Disney's apparently infinite Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Love and Thunder, took in ticket sales of more than $144 million in its debut weekend. Meanwhile, Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Global continued to do well seven weeks after its release, holding the No. 3 spot with sales of $15.5 million.
AMC should continue to do well throughout the summer "tentpole movie" season, even if subsequent weekends don't hit the peak of this past one. More high-profile releases will hit the theaters, and many people are obviously still itching to get the cinema experience they've been missing since the pandemic began.