AMC Sold Three Times More Shares than Movie Tickets in Q2, Revenues Down 70% from Q2 2019, as Business Model Collapsed

It should just forget about selling movie tickets, and stick to selling its shares to future meme-stock billionaires.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Just briefly here, because the fawning financial-media coverage was so funny. “AMC Entertainment’s Revenue Surges as Moviegoers Return to Theaters,” the Wall Street Journal wrote this afternoon. Similar fawning headlines were repeated elsewhere in the financial media. And that’s hilarious because – you guessed it – the “base effect.”

So yes, AMC, reported earnings this afternoon, or rather another huge loss, and revenues surged from near zero in Q2 2020 to $445 million in Q2 this year. But however much “surging” this was doing, thanks to the base effect, meaning that the base of the year-over-year surge was near zero a year ago, revenues were down by over 70% from Q2 2019 ($1.51 billion). This is all that the “pent-up demand” could produce:

AMC sold just 22 million tickets in Q2, down 77% from the 97 million tickets it had sold two years ago. But it is good at selling overpriced sodas, popcorn, and snacks, in total $162 million in Q2, accounting for 36% of its total revenues; and it also sold screen advertising and other things for another $50 million.

These $445 million in total revenues generated $343.6 million in net losses.

Streaming is a huge challenge for movie theaters. The world has changed. For the first three months after a movie was released, movie theaters used to have a monopoly. If Americans wanted to see the movie legally during those first three months, they’d have to do it in the theaters.

But that “theatrical window” was crushed under the leadership of Disney, and now Disney and other studios are releasing at least some new movies simultaneously on their own streaming services. Theaters lost their three-month monopoly.

And consumers have a choice, with some of them choosing to go to the theater, but with the vast majority choosing to watch it at home. Consumers are loving this choice. For example, Disney’s “Black Widow” was hugely popular on Disney+ but its simultaneous theatrical release fizzled.

That three-month monopoly was the business model of movie theaters. It was based on the notion that theaters could thrive by depriving consumers of choice. That’s precisely what monopolies do. Now this business model has gotten crushed.

But AMC sure sold a heck of a lot of shares in Q2: While it sold only 22 million movie tickets, it sold 63 million shares of its meme stock, via three share offerings, including the private placement to Mudrick Capital.

And this has been going on ever since the Pandemic kicked in. Back in Q2 2019, the Good Times, AMC had 135.5 million shares outstanding. It currently has 513.3 million shares outstanding, having sold 377.8 million shares over the two-year period, having nearly quadrupled its share count.

These share sales diluted the shareholders to smithereens, but it doesn’t really matter because AMC has been losing huge amounts of money and only the losses got diluted, and no one complains about that, and any hopes of showing consistent net profits are slim.

But the cash it raised from those share sales allowed AMC to avoid bankruptcy, which it had been dangling out in front of investors in late 2020. And this cash is now getting burned in its cash-burn machine.

AMC’s creditors, which will be paid from the proceeds of those share sales are ecstatic. That’s how capitalism is supposed to work: Take money from a new set of investors to pay an old set of investors.

AMC should just admit that its new business model, as meme stock where anything goes, is to sell shares at meme-stock prices to whoever wants to become a meme-stock billionaire, and abandon any ambitions it might accidentally still have to fill its theaters. That time is over.

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  95 comments for “AMC Sold Three Times More Shares than Movie Tickets in Q2, Revenues Down 70% from Q2 2019, as Business Model Collapsed

  1. MCH says:

    They missed their marks, these financial commentators, they should’ve used the words “ticket sales have gone viral” A surge is a temporary thing, viral on the other hand can be sustainable.

    Smithereens, is that a technical term?

    And by the way, Wolf, you should stop looking at the downside, how was the change for Q2 a year ago…. think parabolic, exponential growth, it went from zero to whatever it is today, that’s practically infinite growth, that’s why the stock is going to overtake Apple.

    Compare that to a quarter ago number, if you want to get a real measure, be optimistic. And remember, if nothing else, inflation gives them the excuse to raise prices, that’s another kicker.

    LOL

  2. Raymond Rogers says:

    Who needs sales. Just sell stock, borrow, and buy bitcoin. It’s one micro strategy AMC can engage in.

    • fajensen says:

      Oh, it’s all “Non Fungible Tokens” (NFT’s) right now.

      Which, to olde me, does sound a lot like those custom banknotes that artists would draw and sometimes manage to exchange for drink.

  3. ivanislav says:

    File-streaming websites like “123movies” and “gostream” let people watch movies for free, without downloading any files (they’re buffered in memory and don’t go to disk). I’m not sure how much it cuts into movie sales, but it may. Now with Disney and HBO streaming immediately upon release, that means that good quality (non-cam) files will be uploaded to these sharing sites almost immediately. At present, usually it’s a cam version first, and then a good-quality version a few weeks or months later.

    • Seneca’s Cliff says:

      AMC is not just a meme stock. It is a trap sprung on the Hedge Fund short sellers by the retail investors. If the hedge funds had just admitted they got caught, close out their shorts and take their lumps, no matter the cost like honest citizens then this would be over. But they continue trying to squirm out of their destiny by ladder trading and selling naked shorts. These hedgies need to face the music, even if it bankrupts them and they need to move to a new career flipping burgers.

      • Chillbro says:

        I am surprised Wolf wont address this point. Sure it is speculative and short hedge funds said they closed their shorts but there people who believe that they rolled them over and hiding them via various mechanisms such abuse of Failure to deliver regime, market maker exceptions to short selling along with options fuckery and married puts. Even fake news went from denying that these practices happen to starting to acknowledge that sometimes shorts do cheat.

        • Apple says:

          The Masters of the Universe will never admit they were bested by some apes on Reddit.

        • c1ue says:

          Meh.
          There are speculative and hedge funds on both sides of trades.
          Very unclear if the retail investor is anything more than an excuse/patsy.

        • ru82 says:

          C1ue.

          Yep both sides. I read Bill Gross made $10 million on the GME squeeze earlier this year.

          He was not long. He entered a short after it did the 1000% gain.

          That meant some of those late longs gave him some money.

      • georgist says:

        Yeah reddit/r,/SuperStonk is very interesting.

        I’m just a casual observer, but what is being discussed there is interesting.

        I think their expectations after MOASS is deluded, but the dynamic is still significant with regard to the hedge funds.

      • TweedleDum says:

        Hedgies are the ones making money here
        As per the latest avaiable data

        Of the 444 institutional owners of AMC 396 are Long only, 30 are Long/Short, 18 are Short only

        Short sellers have also latched onto this idiocy. They claim to be short (no official filing) stock spikes as redditers get all over it. There is a good chance that they infact get long, spread the short rumor then dump to manic redditors

      • Noelck says:

        AMC stock is a momentum play. It is not a short squeeze. With the current daily volume the shorts can close their positions in a day. There are a lot of institutional investors making a mint on call and put options because the volatility(Vega) is forcing the premiums so high.

        I suspect if the SEC ever looked into some of the anonymous message board influencers there would be numerous violations.

    • Thomas Roberts says:

      ivanislav,

      That is a major concern. I’m sure movie and TV show piracy, will increase.

      Even bigger though is that with the release gap between a movie first releasing and it being available as a part of a subscription is shrinking dramatically; The justification for a large first release premium price, is shrinking.

      Black widow did abysmal, even counting in Disney plus. The marvel films were likely to decline, but not at this rate, pandemic included. I don’t see the movie producers making as much money with their movies at home compared to old model. It might be to late to switch back though.

      Right now, I’m sure they are banking on total money by bundling things into the streaming services, but it’s a very risky move and the biggest problems will be subscription sharing and subscription hopping. Alot of people will only pay for one or 2 services at a time and jump between all the big ones.

  4. Rosebud says:

    Smithereens is a rock n roll band from the East Coast. ‘The blues before and after’ remember that one? ‘I get the blues before and after Im with you.

    And AMC is American motors Corp, Javelin.

    • Rosebud says:

      Wolf, Smithereens are touring CA with Marshall “I’ve suffered my art, now it’s your turn” Crenshaw, unbelievable.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      I am pretty sure ‘smithereens’ is a word much older, prob from UK. My dad from UK would say ‘blown to smithereens’ in the 1950s.

      Possible link to ‘smith’ who had a fire and his smoke.

      • Around that time, Aldous Huxley wrote a foreword to his novel Brave New World, where he sarcastically remarked that in some cities divorces already outnumber marriages and soon we’ll hand them out like dog licenses, valid for one year, if we don’t blow ourselves to smithereens before then.

      • SwissBrit says:

        smithereens (n.)
        “small fragments,” 1810, smiddereens, from Irish smidirin, diminutive of smiodar “fragment,” perhaps with diminutive ending as in Colleen.

        Source: etmyonline(dot)com

  5. Anthony A. says:

    I wonder what Jim Cramer will say about AMC tomorrow? He loves what JP is doing so maybe he will be pushing AMC stock? I’m just guessing here.

  6. Swamp Creature says:

    What a pathetic business model. Selling advertising for TV shows at the movie theater is cannabolizing their own platform.

    • Apple says:

      TV shows advertise movies.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        TV is free. Movies you have to pay for. Sorry it doesn’t work both ways.

        • Apple says:

          You’d be amazed how much money some companies charge to provide ‘free’ tv.

        • SwissBrit says:

          Just because you don’t think that you pay for it, doesn’t mean that it’s free: even if there’s no subscription or tax, there’s the adverts and sponsorships and the rest of the stuff that gets in the way of the actual thing that you’re trying to watch.

        • Turtle says:

          Psssht, TV is $750/year to watch an enormous amount of goofy and obscene commercials.

    • Turtle says:

      Remember when it was just movie trivia, a trailer or two and funny reminders to stay quiet?

      • Anon1970 says:

        I remember when there was a cartoon and a newsreel as well before the actual movie.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          10-4 A:
          For some reason, before we had TV, mom used to take us kids to the Saturday morning show at the local movie theater almost every week.
          A QUARTER, total, got us in, got one bag of popcorn, a soda, and a box of candy,,,
          The show always included the news of the week, a cartoon, a ”serial”, and then the main feature, sometimes even some live performances too,,, and kept us away from the house for several hours, including walking home.
          Never could figure out why the parents wanted us out of the house on Sat morning, but things certainly seemed to be much more mellow when we did get home,, LOL

      • georgist says:

        Capitalism inexorably means profit must be maximized above all other concerns.

  7. Trucker guy says:

    Jeez it almost seems like fiscal responsibility and rational money is gone from the whole equation. Everyway one looks, people are being stupid with money. Like financial irresponsibility is a sword of Damocles at this point.

    The retail crowd isn’t even shorting the stock, they’re just buying and holding an undead company because 15 year olds on the internet told them to. Must be nice have money to set on fire “just for the memes.”

    • 2banana says:

      Free money given to you by the bucket load for doing nothing will do that.

      Earning money working a hot roofing job all summer will have you think a little differently about how to spend it.

      • georgist says:

        People used to pay their way through college on summer jobs.
        Not now. Why not admit they have a point? American society doesn’t add up.

    • RightNYer says:

      Of course people are being stupid with money. Things only have value when they’re rare. If you can print trillions of dollars and hand it out, why should anyone be surprised that people are being stupid with it?

    • Thomas Roberts says:

      Trucker guy,

      Quite a few stocks are immensely overvalued, even if the company has no future, just look at Uber. The stock market in general is very overvalued.

      I wonder what percent of AMC’s stocks are owned as a result of being in a index fund? Index fund buyers, are the real idiots. Buying index funds, has worked so far, because of demographics and that more money has been flowing in, rather than out of the stock market. It is a very poor way of diversifying and reducing fees for stock portfolios.

      • Turtle says:

        “Index fund buyers, are the real idiots.”

        Go to the Boglehead forums, say that and see what happens.

        I’d grab my popcorn.

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          I looked and they are almost entirely a bunch of potato heads. If you tell someone they don’t what they are doing and they are temporarily succeeding, only by timed luck; while they are surrounded by like minded potatoes, the vast majority of the time, they will only reaffirm each other and dig a bigger mental hole.

          Since the late 1940s, there has always been more money going into the stock market rather than out, except for brief periods. It was possible for nearly 80 years to succeed as a passive investor. Now that the booomers are starting to retire, it will no longer be a given that the inflow exceeds the outflow, and the stock market will no longer have that incredible rate of returns, year after year. A very different stock market, will arise. It is possible that temporarily, foreign investors could keep the stock market pumped up, but the stock market is even more pumped up by monopoly and oilgopoly markets, which younger generations will want to end, especially if the current long term trend of a getting poorer middle class continues.

    • georgist says:

      It’s part of the same dynamic as the worker shortage. Young people have correctly surmised they will never be “middle class” so have rejected regular entry level jobs because it won’t end well.
      Same for stocks and Bitcoin. Both are seen as “big bets” that will either make them rich or leave them poor. They already are poor so they lose nothing.
      They don’t believe society works. They believe careers are a “meme”, that regular workers are slaves and that working hard doesn’t pay.
      Their evidence? It’s all around them.

  8. 2banana says:

    AMC needs to find their niche.

    People like to go out, be social and share a common experience.

    Movies used to do that. A cheaper date back when folks were fairly polite to each other.

    There is nothing better than watching a great movie (there are few of those nowadays) and have the audience erupt in a cheer or a collective gasp.

    • Cold in the Midwest says:

      Let’s not forget role of the the theater chains in the revenue collapse. This has been discussed in previous threads on Wolf Street.

      They include dirty/sticky areas in their theaters (particularly the floors), overpricing the junk food/drinks at the concession stand, playing 10 – 15 minutes of unannounced previews/commercials prior to the actual film, people talking in theaters and high ticket prices, just to name a few. I think these tactics contributed to the lack of customer loyalty the theater chains are now experiencing.

      I think many people tolerated the experience of going to a theater only because they had no other options, and the entertainment companies like AMC arrogantly assumed that model would not change. The point is many people (like myself) tolerated the movie theater experience rather than enjoyed it. But tolerating that experience is often no longer necessary with the advent of streaming.

      That does not discount your point 2banana – some people genuinely like the experience of seeing a movie in a venue with others who are also clearly enjoying the film. But there are also many who don’t necessarily place a high value on that experience – they just want to quietly watch a film. That “quiet” segment of the movie audience is probably the first to abandon going to the theater.

      • Bill says:

        How ironic that movie theaters reduced their screens’ size, resolution, and color quality over the past 50 years all while raising ticket prices while home televisions did the exact opposite.

      • RightNYer says:

        Excellent post. This is exactly the way I feel. I never enjoyed the “movie theater experience,” but tolerated it.

        I’d much rather watch a movie at home in my living room and be able to pause it to go to the bathroom, eat my own food that doesn’t cost $12 and have 2,000 calories, etc.

  9. Scott says:

    It’s actually a shame, I grew up enjoying going to movie theaters … just another part of our history that is falling by the wayside just like the shopping malls. But hey, it’s ok, we can live isolated lives and survive on texting and the like.

    • Brant Lee says:

      I got spoiled going to movies during my early teens in the 60s. Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, etc. Then stopping by K-Mart to look at the record LP’s: The Beatles, Doors, Yes, it just went on and on.

      No wonder I wouldn’t give a dime for this stuff nowadays. How do people sit through this loud fake cinema? It’s the same junk over and over. I got over this superhero craze from the original 12 cent Marvel comics.

      • Petunia says:

        Little did we know we grew up in the Golden Era of Entertainment, movies, tv, and music. Now American “entertainment” is crap. All of it.

    • Beyond the rubicoN says:

      In my home town a small theatre went out of business and a church rented out the space. I would sometimes go to youth group and sit in the movie chairs for the sermons. It was almost like going to the movies…except it was the same performance every time.

      • fajensen says:

        …except it was the same performance every time.

        Exactly Like going to the movies then: There is Never a new story, it’s just the same formulaic crap recycled and reheated, to an audience with a much shorter attention span :)

        Streaming has killed movies for me. I always think: “Do I want to spend two hours on this movie”? and come up with “No, I don’t”, going to the movie theater, “Insane Idea!!, The mall people are all going to be there!!!”

  10. General Strike says:

    What’s the difference between AMC selling new “ shares “ to feed their cash burning machine and a Ponzi scheme ? Capitalism is a scam.

    • Tony of CA says:

      I agree. Amazon did it for 15 years. Uber has been doing for 12 years and counting. The whole system is a joke.

    • Thomas Roberts says:

      General Strike,

      America is not presently, a capitalist country.

      • General Strike says:

        It sure as Hell isn’t socialist. Spare me the “ perfection of the market “
        garbage.

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          I didn’t say it was. Markets aren’t perfect, but they are better than what we currently have. Some markets do have to be carefully managed, but right now most market laws are written by lobbyists for large companies to stiffle competition.

          Right now, america is a Plutocraccy. More specifically, studies have shown that America follows the path that the 20% wants and what the bottom 80% wants is entirely disregarded. Of course, most people in the top 20%, just obey a handful of people. Too many people are comfortable with the status quo, so until enough people turn against it, it will continue to spiral out of control.

      • Sams says:

        America is at present a capitalist country.
        But not that glossy capitalist add capitalism. Rather from the book of capitalsm the capitalist do not like to show the public.

        Monopolies, cartels, inside trading, propanganda, political medling, you name it. Everything that make the profit larger by flexing power and manipulating whatever.

        • coalman says:

          2400 years ago aristotle predicted all democracies end in oligopilies, so true.

      • Turtle says:

        Well, pockets of it are but with all this central economic planning and government socialism it’s hard to call us a capitalist nation. I think that ended with the wild west, for better and worse. We are what we are and boy do we have problems. Still the best in tis broken world, at least for the greater portion of our population.

        • georgist says:

          Westward expansion was “capitalist,” because there wasn’t full land enclosure. If you wanted to work and a farmer offered you a job at subsistence pay you could get cheap land and start your own farm. You had options. Once all land is owned then Ricardo’s law of rent kicks in and unless you tax land all gains flow to land owners.
          What was the second biggest selling book in the 1890s, behind the bible?
          Progress and Poverty, by Henry George. Back when people understood stuff. When people read up instead of just calling each other”communists” at any critique of the cult.

        • georgist says:

          One interesting thing I’ve seen said is the lack of enclosure in the USA necessitated slavery. Back in the UK where all land was owned, the UK *was* the prison. Work to subsist or die. When land is available cheaply forced labour becomes necessary.
          Again it all ties back to land, not the usual “free market” / “you’re a commie” circus.

        • Turtle says:

          All this polarization is killing peoples’ ability to think.

        • georgist says:

          It just seems to me that the USA has a really poor education system and an anti-intelectual culture, leading to a populus totally unequipped to comprehend their situation. This then results in extremely basic discourse. Really we’ve even seen it manifested at the top levels, with most post Clinton leaders having very low IQ, plus very low quality elected representatives, who get in because they appear intelligent to the average voter. Even US films are now similar to children’s movies with adults watching “superheroes”.

    • Petunia says:

      The AMC share dilution is not a ponzi scheme, it is a gift from the longs, to kill off the shorts. The longs know the money is going to payoff debt and renovate the theaters. This strategy is strengthening AMC vs their competitors. The competitors are now the better shorts.

      If you think the AMC saga is about business or profits you haven’t been paying attention. It’s about manipulating the manipulators.

      • fajensen says:

        So, Driving down the share price with new shares and letting those wicked shorters close out their postions with huge profits, is totally part of a Brilliant plan to be “killing off the shorts”?

    • Old School says:

      Share ownership is one of the greatest inventions of modern man. It’s like any transaction, you are paying cash for a share of a company that is supposed to be operated on your behalf. But you have to know what you are doing as a buyer just like purchasing a home or a life insurance policy.

  11. Michael A says:

    Wolf, I’m disappointed in your post! How come you didn’t point out the crap stock performance of AMC peers? This is the real-world indicator showing they are F’d because it’s peers are not a meme stocks.

    Cineplex, Cinemark and perhaps Marcus Corp. All in the tank.

  12. Mark says:

    I hear sports teams are using peak pricing software just like the airlines have done for a long time. A baseball ticket is going for $200 now because somebody is willing to pay that.

    Movie theaters could try that. They could serve beer and decent food. They could even bring back drive ins. But then they’ve trained everyone to stream, so they are probably dead no matter what.

    • 3D Modeler says:

      Can’t wait to see how peak pricing software performs in the next doozy of a recession. The bits will be saying to the bytes “WTF!”

    • 3D Modeler says:

      Back in the ’70s when the tough-as-nails CEO of American Airlines, Bob Crandall, wanted to signal to his competitors what he thought of their the latest airfare tactics, he’d issue a “special airfare” that included the letters “FU” in the ticket code. That pretty much took care of that…

      • Harrold says:

        Crandall, of course, famously got caught on tape calling Howard D. Putnam, chairman of Braniff in an attempt to fix ticket prices.

        • 3D Modeler says:

          Yep…those were the days. Now the fix is in using software. AI right around the corner…

  13. historicus says:

    Touting stocks like AMC…gives one a peek into what they are doing with all the others…
    AMC is going the way of the drive in movie theatre.

    • Turtle says:

      I love those Disney movies about a washed up horse winning the big race but people sure are gamblers these days with their investments, aren’t they?

  14. Winston says:

    Go to the more than ever appropriately named Rotten Tomatoes web site and look at the movies opening in theaters this Friday. Nothing I’d be interested in seeing even on a Red Box or streaming rental. There’s a Clint Eastwood film opening in September that I might watch, but only after its available as for rent.

    Are theaters doing any better in China? If so, that will mean even more kowtowing to their market by western owned (for now) studios.

    • Saltcreep says:

      Pleeeeease let Dune be one that proves worthwhile, I say. That’s one that I’m really looking forward to, and that I must see in a proper amphitheatre with tons of other people.

  15. wkevinw says:

    One of the best headlines ever.

    This is the type of business model we have for all the “zombie” companies. It got its start in ~the mid-80’s, was refined in the ’90’s, and now appears to be standard operating procedure.

    All the complaints about elitism, income inequality, poor quality economic statistics (e.g. profits, unemployment) etc., etc., etc., are caused by this (and other strange economics).

    It doesn’t end well. I don’t know if we get a long, serious bear market, or Japan: 20 years of no growth.

  16. Gandalf says:

    I don’t know if going to movie theaters is ever going to come back as a way of life, not in our current COVID Pandemic times.

    For me, there aren’t any really good movies that have come out so far that are worth going to see on the big screen, and risk getting infected with COVID. Maybe “Dune”, when it comes out in October, would be worth watching at the IMAX. I would want to wear an N95 mask the whole time I was in the theater, confined in the same air space as all the other unmasked (and coughing, talking, eating, drinking) patrons. And that won’t be a fun experience.

    Even though I have been vaccinated (with the Pfizer), there are increasing numbers of breakthrough infections with the Delta variant. The Lambda variant, which is even more resistant to the current vaccines, is increasing in numbers, and is likely to be the dominant strain by the time “Dune” comes out.

    I had also been longing for a vacation trip by plane somewhere, but nope, not going to happen for a while

    And, I’m still getting a front row seat to all that with the nightly assault of COVID pneumonias that I see at work.

    Some of them are really just awful. I saw one three days ago, a 53 year old woman, who had been hospitalized for a whole month. The initial Chest xray was pretty innocuous looking, but in a couple days, the classic rounded fluffy ground glass lung inflitrates appeared, and then the pneumonia just blew up. She was finally discharged at the end of July. The last several chest X-rays all showed horrible looking lungs with diffuse and dense chronic looking fibrotic changes in the lungs.

    I don’t know the full clinical details, but I couldn’t but help thinking – this woman is going to need home oxygen therapy for the rest of her life. She may eventually need lung transplants. Her lungs are a setup for getting further pneumonias. Her life is going to be a lot shorter than it would have been had she gotten vaccinated.

    The SARS-Cov2 virus is continuing to mutate. I had posted several references here on Wolfstreet, way back in early 2020 when the pandemic was starting, that showed just how fast the virus was capable of mutating.

    I fully expect that this will be a constant years-long pandemic with the virus continuing to mutate and becoming resistant to each new vaccine that comes out, exactly like a super lethal variation of what has been happening over the last century with the influenza virus.

    With at least 30% of the US population still firmly opposed to EVER getting vaccinated, there will always be this large pool of humans here in the USA that will be susceptible to catching and transmitting these next waves of COVID.

    It’s sad that the vast majority of these COVID vaccine deniers are Republicans. It’s even sadder that many are Conservative Christians. An entire family of these Conservative Christians, younger relatives of my Significant Other, recently all came down with COVID, with the husband now severely ill.

    That story about the man about to be drowned by rising flood waters, refusing rescue from neighbors who offered to take him in their car, then refusing a rescue boat, and finally a rescue helicopter, as the waters rose, saying each time: “God will save me!” comes to mind.

    The story ends with the man drowned by the flood, and then confronting God: “Why didn’t You save me?!” And God says: “You IDIOT! I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter!”

    One would think that the principles of Darwinian evolution would eventually take hold, kind of like how the massive deaths from Bubonic Plague eventually caused 10% of Europeans to own a different T-cell receptor resistant to the Plague that also coincidentally makes them immune to getting AIDS.

    Fewer Vaccine Deniers may be in our future. Fewer movie theaters for sure.

    • Anon1970 says:

      Hungary has been getting a lot of press lately, especially on conservative web sites because of its strong man Prime Minister Victor Orban. What typically is left out of these articles is the country’s high death rate per thousand people from covid-19 (#1 in Europe and #2 in the world after Peru). The country also has low tobacco taxes and a high smoking rate. Smokers who have not been vaccinated run a significant risk of catching the covid-19 virus in a crowded environment. They ought to avoid movie theaters and other crowded places. What do you think Gandalf?

      • Micheal Engel says:

        great pastry.

      • Gandalf says:

        Anon,
        Yes, the people with chronic diseases like COPD are at much higher risk of death from COVID, but increasingly we’re seeing young, previously healthy unvaccinated people get severe COVID, with a few dying. It’s just a statistical game of Russian roulette if you don’t get vaccinated. The odds are NOT in your favor.

    • ivanislav says:

      Hi Gandalf, could you share what treatment was administered to the patient? Cheers.

      • Gandalf says:

        If you are referring to the 53 y.o. woman, the answer is I don’t know.

        I’m a radiologist, and I was just remotely reading her latest chest x-ray via teleradiology, and I reviewed her previous studies as well to see how the whole thing had blown up like it did.

        The body of knowledge for how to treat COVID has vastly improved from the early days when chloroquine/hydroxychloroquin was being touted without much scientific evidence, but due to an utter lack of anything else useful, the FDA granted emergency authorization for its use. Lots of major hospitals and legitimate physicians used Chloroquine/hydroxychloroquin in combination with azithromycin

        Since that time, both treatments have been debunked thoroughly as effective treatment for COVID. The FDA quickly revoked the emergency authorization for chloroquine/hydroxychloroquin use for COVID back in June 2020. Azithromycin has also been debunked for use in COVID.

        A number of much better treatments are now available for the severe cases of COVID, ranging from REGEN-COV, the antibody cocktail infusion given to Trump when he got COVID, which directly attacks the SARS-Cov2 virus, to steroids (dexamethasone) and other immune modulators designed to prevent the hyperactive immune response that seems to be a huge factor in many of the severe COVID cases.

        Having said all that, this poor woman was being treated in a tiny rural town of less than 3,000 people, and in a hospital with about 19 beds. So, I have major doubts that she got all the best and latest and most expensive therapies available, like what was given to Trump.

        As for my S.O.’s relatives, apparently they are being treated by a Nigeria-born physician, I believe a member of their church, and he’s giving them the hydroxychloroquin and azithromycin combo that’s been debunked for well over a year now.

        So yeah, treatment for COVID is, shall we say, still highly uneven and still badly afflicted by the purveyors of voodoo medicine that still afflict the medical profession in these United States.

        That’s one of the other things that is so abhorrent about this COVID pandemic, the amount of sheer BS and misinformation that has been put out there, including even physicians and formerly well respected scientists, like Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier, one of co-discoverers ofthe HIV virus

    • VintageVNvet says:

      G,
      What I read is that minority folks are the largest cohort of vaccine refuseniks in almost every location…
      ”As observed in prior weeks, Black and Hispanic people have received smaller shares of vaccinations compared to their shares of cases and compared to their shares of the total population in most states. The share of vaccinations received by Black people also continues to be smaller than their share of deaths in most states, although in some states it is similar to the share of deaths. The share of vaccinations received by Hispanic people is similar to or higher than their share of deaths in most reporting states, although in some states it continues to be lower. For example, in California, 30% of vaccinations have gone to Hispanic people, while they account for 63% of cases, 48% of deaths, and 40% of the total population in the state. Similarly, in the District of Columbia, Black people have received 43% of vaccinations, while they make up 56% of cases, 71% of deaths, and 46% of the total population. The size of these differences varies across states. ”
      Apparently, trust is the culprit, as always.
      Here’s a link to the source if Wolf allows it to stay up.
      https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/latest-data-on-covid-19-vaccinations-race-ethnicity/

      • Anon1970 says:

        Are you familiar with the Tuskegee syphillus study that ran from 1932 to 1972? If not look it up. Many black Americans simply don’t trust the American medical establishment when it comes to vaccines.

        It appears to me that if you are an obese, frequent smoker who refuses to get the vaccines, you are asking for trouble, regardless of your race.

        • fajensen says:

          I think it is rather more likely that most black americans cannot afford any contact with the american medical establishment.

          Many people working hand-to mouth in shit jobs cannot afford to take some days out sick, many of those people “happens” to be black or immigrants.

          They take their chances as best they can and probably find some bullshit to justify their “choice” on FaceBook. Because it is not socially acceptable to admit that one’s ass is too poor and one’s job too rubbish to allow one to take a few days off to get vaccinated!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          fajensen,

          You can get vaccinated at the corner drugstore (such as Walgreens) on the way home from work, and it’s free, and very quick. They don’t have to take off to do this. But if they get the fever/chills side effects, they might have to take off a day or two afterwards, and that is something some people cannot afford. The company should – and many do – offer sick-pay for those days.

      • Gandalf says:

        That Kaiser Foundation article was more about the much lower percentage of Blacks and Hispanics were getting the vaccine. The poll it cites doesn’t show much difference in the percentage of those who say they will never get the vaccine.

        In general, Black people have gotten lesser healthcare than White people for a long time. The same is probably true for the poor Hispanics (as the wealthier Hispanics tend to blend into the White population in all demographic trends).

        Here’s a better article with a poll that delves more specifically into the details of who doesn’t believe in the vaccine:

        https://www.newsweek.com/origin-lambda-covid-variant-explained-1617480

  17. Micheal Engel says:

    1) AMC : QQQ in a bull run, since Jan 202. // Gold : NDX still plunge.
    2) Money flow to AAPL, AMZN, MSFT, AMC…away from gold, rotating to tech stocks since gold peaked.
    3) Gold @1750 is still too expensive for consumers. Gold disappeared from jewelry stores.
    4) Gold will not collapse to 250 from the early 2000’s.
    5) PnF : x3 reversal x $40/box x 7 conservative count send gold to $2K
    6) A full count of : 17 x 3 x 40 can send gold > $3K.
    7) The rough PnF range is : $1,000. take fibo 38%, 50%, 63% for targets.

    • RightNYer says:

      The only way that bigtech will continue to grow the way it has is if the government continues providing trillions in stimulus to its customers. It’s that simple.

      Bigtech is just as much a beneficiary of the credit bubble as any other.

  18. Beardawg says:

    Once the hedgies are out of their short positions, the remaining stockholders will presumably take the final hit as quarterly reports for AMC reflect slow death. If those stockholders only ventured fractional shares, their pain will be minimal but their triumph will be notable.

    What does this say about any hedge fund or larger short investor position on any stock in the future ? Are AMC and GME true gamechangers?

  19. Micheal Engel says:

    If AOC pass her $5T JP will taper, Gold:NDX will jump and AMC
    smoked on junk debt. RIP AMC & AMC RE.

    • Old School says:

      I have my doubts that they really want the leadership really wants the $3.5T to pass as they have already been warned it will create an inflation spiral. It’s theater I think to say we tried to give you all the goodies.

  20. Micheal Engel says:

    The expected CPI & AOC $33T sent TY (US10Y Futures price) to the lower
    bound of Feb 25/ Mar 2 2021 backbone.

  21. AverageCommenter says:

    Meme stock billionaires? Sounds a little on the demeaning side. Hey, these youngsters know a pension or social security may not be in the cards for them so they follow the crowd and buy the hot stock. Atleast they aren’t waiting on Mega millions or Powerball to strike it rich like generations before them

  22. stan65 says:

    Cash-burning machine :). Gotta love it!

  23. Doug says:

    AMC’s Market Cap in August 13, 2021 = $17.8 BILLION (513 mm shares X $33.6 per share)

    AMC’s Market Cap in April 2019 = $2.14 BILLION (135 shares X $15.88 per share)

    Share price today required to once again reach $2.14 B market cap = $4.17 per share.

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