As an AMC Theatres shareholder, I attended three advance screenings in the last six weeks: “Moonfall,” “Jackass Forever,” and “The Batman.” I watched the movies days before they opened to the public. Should you become an AMC shareholder to join the Investor Connect program for this perk?
How I Became An AMC Shareholder
I was planning to buy shares in AMC Theatres at $2 US per share in January 2021. And then a group of retail investors on Reddit blew up the share price to $14 US. I bought my shares at $9 US each when prices drop in early March. When the share price peaked at $59 US in June, I sold most of my shares at that time.
The good news was that I made $2,000 US in profits and paid off a credit card.
The bad news was that I owed short-term capital gain taxes when I filed my tax return this year. I got a whopping $2 US back from Uncle Sam.
AMC Became A Meme Stock
What happened to drive up share prices for AMC last year?
AMC has been a long-time favorite for short sellers who bet that the share prices will continue to drop. If they sell borrowed shares at $10 US and later buy back shares at $8 US, they keep the $2 US per share difference. If the share price goes up when they must buy back the shares, the difference comes out of their own pocket.
Retail investors turned AMC into a meme stock with a “short squeeze” on short sellers. They bought and hung on to their shares, driving up the price higher for available shares. Short sellers had to buy back shares at higher prices, which in turn drove the prices even higher.
AMC rocketed from $2 US per share in January to $59 per share in June. AMC’s Chinese owner sold out their controlling position and made a tidy profit. AMC made a secondary stock offering to raise $1.5 billion US in cash. The meme stock bubble burst shortly thereafter and the current share price is $17 US.
AMC Investor Connect Program
AMC started the Investor Connect program to welcome all the retail investors. The initial perks were free coffee, free soda, or free popcorn. Advance screenings got added on as a perk late last year. If you’re an AMC shareholder, you can sign up for the Investor Connect program.
Tickets for the advance screenings are not free. If you’re a member of the AMC A-List program, you can use one of your three reservation slots. Otherwise, you will have to pay full ticket price.
“Moonfall” had an advance screening nine days before opening to the public. Advance screenings are typically two days before opening. “Moonfall” needed word of mouth to save the disaster flick from being a disaster at the box office.
The advance screenings didn’t help. “Moonfall” bombed at the box office with $10 million US in ticket sales for a $140 million US production budget.
“Moonfall” was on a regular screen in one of the smaller theaters. The audience turnout filled 50% of the theater. I enjoyed the movie despite the plot holes big enough to fly a space shuttle through.
“Jackass Forever” was on a regular screen in one of the smaller theaters. The audience turnout filled 75% of the theater. I enjoyed the Godzilla-style opening where Johnny Knoxville and crew died gruesome deaths. Except towards the end when the monster revealed to be a penis.
Knoxville said in an interview that “Jackass 4.5” on DVD will feature all the penis jokes that weren’t the movie.
“The Batman” was on the big screen in the Dolby theater. The audience turnout filled 100% of the theater.
A couple tried to sneak into the theater to see the movie. Because they weren’t shareholders, they didn’t have reserved seats. They kept changing seats as shareholders showed up to claim their seats. After bouncing all over the theater for a pair of empty seats, they ended up leaving and not watching the movie.
“The Batman” is one of the best Batman movies ever made. My friend—a hard-core Michael Keaton fan—ranked “The Batman” as a number two. We both found it amusing that “The Batman” followed an earlier showing of “The Godfather 50 Years.” The sins of the father were a major plot point in both movies.
Should You Become An AMC Shareholder?
Should you buy AMC Theatres stock to become a shareholder and see advance screenings?
If you already have a brokerage account and can afford to buy a share, knock yourself out. A friend of mine bought a share inside his IRA account to become an AMC shareholder.
If you don’t have a brokerage account, you might want to talk to a financial advisor before buying into a meme stock.
DISCLAIMER: I own stock in AMC Theatres and I’m a member of the Investor Connect program. I’m also a member the AMC A-List subscription program that I pay $25 US per month that I paid out of my own pocket. AMC Theatres provided no compensation or editorial guidance.