Media Money with Julia Boorstin

AMC Going Public ... Again -- Teens Dream for a Black Xmas -- Pellicano Anyone?


AMC jumps back into the public market again:

Movie theater company AMC Entertainment Inc. can't seem to make up its mind -- just two years after being taken private for $2 billion by Marquee Holdings, on Monday Marquee said it filed with the SEC to do an IPO. Unlike many private companies, we know exactly how it's doing because it has public debt and files with the SEC -- the company just reported $2.4 billion in revenue for the year ending September 28, and a $189 million loss.

Since going private, AMC did a $2 billion (estimated) merger with Loews -- giving the company more than 5,000 screens at 375 theaters -- making it number two behind Regal Entertainment, which has 6,200 screens.

The movie theater biz is in serious flux -- the studios are making fewer of the hundred-million-dollar plus budget movies that absolutely must be seen in theaters, and with home entertainment systems getting better every year, the movie theater biz is weakening.

So, will AMC go the route of Shari Redstone's National Amusements and try to make movie theaters more of an entertainment destination -- high end restaurants, even video game arcades and bars? Not a bad idea -- it's the best way to stay competitive.

So, to weigh in on the Hollywood blogosphere:

LA Weekly columnist (and muckraking blogger of sorts) Nikki Finke has taken a break from reporting on the biz in Hollywood just long enough to bash MGM/Weinstein Co. for releasing the teen slasher remake "Black Christmas" on Christmas Day.

(Neither she, nor I, have seen it, and yes, it is about a bunch of sorority sisters who are harassed and then knocked off over Christmas break).

Finke is livid about the anti-religious themes: "Is the intended audience supposed to be non-Christians?" she asks ... (Yeah, because moviegoers sure HATE religion-themed violence? ahem, Passion of the Christ? ahem?)

Last week I blogged about the anemic opening of "The Nativity Story" which (ahem) did NOT feature a flogged and flayed Jesus. Moral of the story: teenagers of all denominations want something to watch on Christmas, whether or not they've opened presents that morning. And can MGM and the Weinsteins hold it against them if they're not interested in watching blander fare like "Unaccompanied Minors"? This is a money-making business, and horror and violence sell, even on Christmas Day.

Is anyone else still following Pellicano?:

Tomorrow the Pellicano saga continues -- at 10am there's going to be a status conference on LA Times reporter Anita Busch's lawsuit against Pellicano. Gotta love the Hollywood-worthy details. Busch alleges that in 2002 she found a dead fish, a rose, and a "stop" message on her car ... I can't imagine a dead fish discouraging anyone from investigating the possible mob intimidation of Steven Seagal. Creepy though.

Questions?  Comments?