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‘Top Gun’ and ‘Jurassic’ Power Biggest Box Office in Years, So Why Are AMC and IMAX Stocks Down?

"Top Gun: Maverick" and "Jurassic World: Dominion" sent ticket sales soaring and roaring, respectively. So why are AMC and IMAX stocks in the tank?

"Top Gun: Maverick" and "Jurassic World: Dominion"

“Top Gun: Maverick” and “Jurassic World: Dominion”

Monday was a day that stock traders and investors would soon like to forget. Though we’ve had lots of those lately.

Today’s declines were devastating to the valuation of most publicly-traded companies, but several major media companies took a particularly harsh bath. Shares in Roku dove nearly 11-and-a-half percent; Paramount Global shrunk more than eight percent.

But our top head-scratchers come from the exhibition side of things, where Paramount’s mega-hit “Top Gun: Maverick” is currently passing the box-office baton to “Jurassic World: Dominion.” We’ll try to relieve that itch.

When the closing bell rang this afternoon, IMAX stock dropped 7.81 percent and AMC Entertainment’s stock was down 7.64 percent. (Cinemark was down 6.40 percent.) What gives? With “Top Gun” still Cruise-ing and a T. Rex-sized debut for the newest installment in the “Jurassic World” franchise, this was a hell of a weekend for movie theaters — especially the premium formats like IMAX.

In its third week in theaters, “Maverick” made $50 million at the ticket booth. “Jurassic World: Dominion” opened to a better-than-expected $143 million domestically. The two blockbusters accounted for 93 percent of the overall weekend box office total ($208 million). That’s cool for the short term, but not something that theater owners and investors should hang their hats on going forward.

To this point, the June 2022 box office is in line with June 2019, which was the last normal year before Covid obliterated movie theaters. And “Jurassic World: Dominion,” the sixth film from the “Jurassic” franchise, is pretty much even with 2018’s “Fallen Kingdom.” Today, “Top Gun: Maverick” passed $400 million to-date domestically — and passed “Doctor Strange in the Multi-Verse of Madness” as 2022’s top film. Read more from IndieWire box-office guru Tom Brueggemann’s weekend analysis here.

The obvious answer to IMAX’s and AMC’s Monday woes is that the stock market, overall, is again in the toilet. But both IMAX and AMC were down significantly more than any overall index. The S&P 500 fell 4.02 percent on Monday, when it entered a bear market with the 500 largest companies listed on the stock market now down more than 20 percent vs. an all-time high for the index in January. (The Dow Jones dropped 2.79 percent on Monday; the Nasdaq was down 4.68 percent.)

AMC Entertainment, the largest theatrical chain in America, and IMAX have both been limping through much of the “Top Gun 2” wave. AMC had a real nice surge in share price on “Top Gun: Maverick’s” premiere date, May 27, jumping 18 percent upon takeoff. The same day, IMAX stock jumped eight percent. Both have since reversed course, giving all those gains back and more. Not even the mighty “Jurassic World: Dominion” could offset the overall market trends.

Inflation levels, which just saw their highest annual increase since 1981, are certainly partially to blame. As is Covid (still). Key downgrades by media analysts for AMC (Macquarie) and IMAX (Goldman Sachs) in September and June 2021, respectively, have kept share prices in check for quite some time now. (Of course, all three of those reasons are intertwined.)

If “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Jurassic World: Dominion” can’t save AMC and IMAX shares from underperforming an already terrible market what can? The new “Avatar”? Maybe. In AMC’s case, perhaps Reddit is the only real hope. GameStop knows what we’re talking about.

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