‘Endgame’ Didn’t Arrive in Time to Save AMC’s Dismal Quarter

(Bloomberg) -- “Avengers: Endgame” is drawing audiences back to movie theaters, but not in time to save AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s latest quarter.

The largest U.S. movie chain suffered a 12 percent drop in attendance in the first three months of the year. The company also reported a wider loss than expected, sending the shares tumbling as much as 11 percent on Thursday -- their worst intraday slide since November.

‘Endgame’ Didn’t Arrive in Time to Save AMC’s Dismal Quarter

The net loss was $1.25 a share in the first quarter, compared with an estimated deficit of 55 cents. Revenue, while in line with Wall Street projections, slumped 13 percent to $1.2 billion.

Exhibitors knew the quarter would be tough, because of a light schedule and tough comparisons with a year ago, when the Marvel film “Black Panther” was barreling through theaters. The outlook is brighter, with another Marvel feature, “Endgame,” setting records in multiplexes now. AMC also was upbeat about its subscription program, saying it signed up more than 785,000 members.

“The timing of releases within the film slate suggests that it will be a back-end loaded year,” Adam Aron, chief executive officer of the Leawood, Kansas-based chain, said in a statement. “We are optimistic that the full year 2019 box office will be at least as strong as 2018, and potentially could be the first year ever that the domestic box office breaks $12 billion.”

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