AMC Theaters, the largest movie theater chain globally, plans to begin accepting Bitcoin payments for both tickets and concessions ordered online by the end of the year. The announcement was made by AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron during the company’s second-quarter earnings call, making AMC movie theaters the first major chain to accept cryptocurrency as payment.
According to Comic Book, AMC movie theaters will be the first major chain to accept Bitcoin as payment for online purchases. Additionally, the company announced working on technology that will allow AMC Theaters to accept other forms of payment, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, for online purchases in 2022. The company decided to implement this change since many of its investors are highly enthusiastic about cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, whose price is rising again.
Bitcoin and other currencies have received quite a bit of attention lately, especially with big names associated with them. For example, Elon Musk’s initial endorsement of Bitcoin caused the cryptocurrency’s value to jump by 13%, reaching $37,000 at the time, eventually rising to $62,000. However, his later decision to suspend Tesla purchases using Bitcoin, made in response to concerns about the negative environmental impact surrounding cryptocurrencies and fossil fuels, dropped the Bitcoin’s value by 15%, to $46,000, with China’s decision to ban the cryptocurrency, driving the value further down to $30,000.
Despite the sudden plummet in value caused by Musk’s announcement and China’s ban, Bitcoin managed to keep various other investors’ interest and had its value increased to approx. $45,000, still making it worthwhile for big-money investors. AMC Theater’s announcement about accepting Bitcoin will likely resonate with cryptocurrency fans and perhaps drive Bitcoin’s value upwards. And they’re not the only ones; Sony recently filed a patent for a betting service that would enable e-sports gambling using Bitcoin.
In addition to the Bitcoin (BTC) announcement, AMC Cinemas also announced their formal agreement with Warner Bros. for an exclusive, albeit shorter, the theatrical release window for the studio’s upcoming 2022 movie releases. Per that agreement, all Warner Bros. films slated for 2022 will have a 45-day silver screen window with AMC movie theaters, where the fans of the upcoming Black Adam might enjoy the movie’s release on the big screen. That’s a significant shift towards theatrical releases, especially considering Warner Bros.’s new inclination towards streaming releases.
Besides expressing his enthusiasm regarding Bitcoin, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron stated that he’s delighted by Warner Bros.’s decision to embrace a theatrical window yet again. Thus, it would seem that movie theaters will live on and survive the pressures of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, he also added that the company is currently in active negotiations with every major studio on the topic of exclusive theatrical windows, as those can be very beneficial to AMC Theater’s further growth and expansion.
It’s worth noting that AMC Theaters greatly benefitted from GameStonks surge earlier this year when the aforementioned investors banded together to purchase shares of GameStop, AMC, and several other companies, to push back on the hedge funds who had bet on those companies’ failures. As a result, AMC had a stock price jump from $2 to $37 throughout a couple of months, though much of that climb resulted from theaters being re-opened across the US. Given their BTC announcement and the new deal with Warner Bros., it’s quite possible for AMC movie theaters to further increase the value of its stocks.