AMC shares spike after top theater chain says 70% of locations will be open this weekend

Key Points
  • AMC says 70% of its U.S.-based theaters will be open this weekend.
  • The highly anticipated film "Tenet" arrives Friday, the start of the three-day Labor Day weekend.
  • Rival theater Cinemark will have more than 70 percent of its domestic circuit reopen by Sept. 11.

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A medical worker wearing a mask walks near the AMC movie theater in Times Square amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 7, 2020 in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Shares of AMC, the largest movie chain in the U.S., jumped 15% Wednesday, a day after the company announced that more than 70% of its domestic theaters would be open by Friday.

AMC is expected to open around 140 additional theaters for the three-day Labor Day weekend, including several theaters in California. The latter will be the first to reopen in California since Covid-19 led to widespread closures.

This weekend is the debut of Warner Bros.' hotly anticipated Christopher Nolan film "Tenet." 

AMC shares have made gains in recent weeks as reopening plans bolstered investor confidence that the company will be able to withstand the pandemic's financial impact. In June, AMC acknowledged that the outbreak had pushed it toward bankruptcy. 

Since the start of the year, AMC shares have fallen 16%, and they are down about 45% from a year ago. The stock has a market value of nearly $664 million. 

The theater reopenings mean the film industry will be able to make more money in coming weeks. Currently, attendance at cinemas is capped at 50% in most states.

Last weekend, less than 50% of U.S.-based theaters were open and operational, according to data from Comscore. It's unclear how many theaters will be open this weekend because that information does not become available until later in the week. 

Rival theater Cinemark told CNBC it will have more than 70% of its domestic circuit reopen by Sept. 11.

AMC will reopen 70% of US theaters by Friday, including first in California