What Gimmicks Are AMC Theatres Rolling Out This Week?

Desperate times at the box office call for some desperate measures, and AMC always has some trick it has up its sleeve to lure new audiences into movie theaters. (Or simply to build revenue — remember the gold mine that wasn’t quite a gold mine? The retail-investment community on Reddit sure does.)

But AMC Entertainment has been in rare form this week, even for CEO Adam Aron.

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On Friday, AMC announced a partnership with Blumhouse for a new film festival they’re calling “Halfway to Halloween.” Tickets went on sale today for a five-day run of different Blumhouse films starting on March 29. Tickets are just $8 (per film), and you can see M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split,” the original “The Purge,” “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” “Insidious,” and “The Invisible Man” all on the big screen.

Granted, there’s no bad time to do a horror-movie marathon, but it’s a bit of a stretch to tap into Halloween vibes over Easter. Also, we are definitely less than halfway to Halloween — even the Christmas in July crowd isn’t this bold.

In any event, AMC is rolling out Halfway to Halloween in 100 theaters across the U.S. In those select AMC’s, consumers will be treated to sneak peeks, giveaways, and see exclusive recorded messages from directors and cast. Costumes optional.

Halfway to Halloween wasn’t the only eyebrow-raising gimmick AMC shared this week. On Thursday, AMC announced that its Zoom Rooms are officially active in eight different U.S. markets. Zoom Rooms, you may recall, are AMC’s idea to rent out its theaters for corporate meetings. Now you can see your company’s VP in Omaha all blown up on the big screen.

AMC first announced Zoom Rooms in 2022 with hopes of launching them in 17 markets by late 2023. Some of the earliest participants are in some corporate-friendly areas: Chicago’s River East 21, The Grove 14 in Los Angeles, or NYC’s Empire 25. There are also locations in Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, San Jose, and Seattle/Tacoma.

“Zoom Rooms at AMC represents a groundbreaking fusion of technology and entertainment, and a significant step forward in AMC’s already successful corporate meetings business,” said Tim Anderson, Vice President, Sales, at AMC Theatres. “We are thrilled to offer a platform that helps transform meetings into immersive experiences, combining the best of both worlds – the exceptional facilities of AMC Theatres and the advanced collaboration features of the Zoom platform.”

AMC Theatres and Blumhouse Halfway to Halloween
AMC Theatres and Blumhouse Halfway to HalloweenAMC Entertainment

So get your popcorn ready for all of that; actually, AMC’s got the snacks covered too. AMC opened the week on Monday by announcing its at-home microwave popcorn is now available at more grocery stores, including Publix and Kroger, and even online at Amazon. A box of six will cost you $35.

Despite some hits in the form of “Dune: Part Two,” “Mean Girls,” and “One Love: Bob Marley,” the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes wreaked some real havoc to the Q1 theatrical landscape. Disney hasn’t had a new movie coming out until April of this year and the studio bumped back movies like “Deadpool and Wolverine” and other Marvel titles originally slated for 2024. They filled the void with the release of three Pixar movies that were originally banished to Disney+.

Summer movie season can’t come soon enough — for any of us.

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