Despite All the Hype, Movie Theater Ticket Sales in 2021 Down 68% from 19 Years Ago. AMC Shares Collapse from WTF Spike

Blockbusterization out of desperation.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

The pandemic just accelerated the structural change by a quantum leap. The number of movie tickets sold in the US have been on the decline for nearly two decades, despite population growth. They’ve gotten hammered by how Americans increasingly watch movies: at home. A slew of competitors with their own studies and streaming services have sprung up, such as Netflix and Amazon. Movie theater ticket sales peaked in 2002 at 1.58 billion tickets. By 2019, sales were down by 22% from the peak, with 1.23 billion tickets sold. Then came the pandemic, and in 2020, amid the lockdowns, ticket sales collapsed.

But in 2021, with theaters reopened, the number of tickets sold was still down by 59.4% from 2019 and by 68% from the peak in 2002, according to movie data provider The Numbers. Just 499 million tickets were sold in 2021, while streaming boomed:

We could guess what’s in store for the overall US movie theater industry in 2021, based on what its largest player, AMC, reported so far for 2021.

AMC’s revenues from just ticket sales in Q3, despite the hugely hyped Labor Day weekend blockbuster numbers of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” plunged by 47% from Q3 2019, to $425 million.

For the first three quarters of 2021, AMC’s revenues from ticket sales plunged by 70% from the same period in 2019, to just $728 million. And movie theaters were open in Q3 – those that were still around.

In Q2 last year, AMC became infamous in the history of movie theaters for having sold more shares than movie tickets, as it’s trying to fund its huge losses, and as the meme-stock crowd was a lot more excited about buying its shares and driving up their prices than about buying movie tickets.

In Q3, AMC’s total revenues from all activities, despite the superbly touted Labor Day weekend success, were still down by 42% from Q3 2019.

In early January 2021, with bankruptcy being a real possibility, AMC’s shares were trading in the $2 range. Then the meme-crowd got a hold of them, and the price spiked amid ridiculous volatility to over $72 a share intraday on June 2, with a closing high of $62.55 that day. And to its credit, AMC was selling a huge number of shares in Q2, at huge prices, to whatever gullible meme-stock jockeys were out there.

They should have gone to the movies instead. At least they would have had some fun. On Friday, AMC’s shares closed at $17.97, the lowest since May, and down 75% from the intraday peak. These escapades, at the expense of its gullible meme-stock fans, allowed AMC to raise large amounts of money that it can now burn.

Over the years, movie theaters countered the structural decline in moviegoers by jacking up prices of tickets and popcorn and sodas, and by offering big comfortable chairs to justify the higher prices. They installed bars to sell overpriced food and beer. Fewer people went to the movies, but each spent more.

Box office revenues kept growing as higher ticket prices made up for lower ticket sales, and that sort of worked: In 2018, box office revenues rose to a record of $12 billion. But they declined in 2019 by nearly 6% and collapsed in 2020.

In 2021, box office revenues produced an uptick from the collapsed lockdown levels in 2020 but it wasn’t nearly enough: At $4.6 billion, box office sales were down by 50% from the long-gone year 2002:

The structural issues for the movie theater business are huge: Those issues now include the streaming channels that the movie studios have set up to sell new releases directly to consumers. During the pandemic, movie studies have shortened and outright abandoned the theatrical window that used to give movie theaters a monopoly on showing new releases for three months. The theatrical window was forced on consumers to benefit movie theaters. Given a choice, as is now quite often the case, lots of people ended up watching the new release at home.

Blockbusterization out of desperation.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” was the number 1 top grossing movie in 2021, with gross revenues of $614 million. And that was a big success.

What matters to movie theaters these days are blockbusters, because theaters are getting their clocks cleaned on the lesser fare that people now watch routinely at home streamed from numerous services and studios, including Disney, Amazon, and Netflix.

But blockbusters – if sufficiently hyped – still draw people to theaters, even though not enough people. The strategy of “blockbusterization” of the movie business has been in effect for years. The result is a few huge blockbusters that studios and theater chains hype into the sky, and declining overall movie theater attendance as people watch the rest at home.

And given the dominance of streaming in the overall movie business, blockbusterization is a gamble designed to battle streaming and draw masses of people to the theater. But a few blockbusters alone simply aren’t enough to fill theaters.

Here are the blockbusters – the top 10-grossing movies – in 2021, according to data provided by The Numbers:

Top Grossing Movies, 2021 Release Date Distributor Gross, million $
1 Spider-Man: No Way Home 17-Dec Sony Pictures 614
2 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 03-Sep Walt Disney 225
3 Venom: Let There be Carnage 01-Oct Sony Pictures 213
4 Black Widow 09-Jul Walt Disney 184
5 F9: The Fast Saga 25-Jun Universal 173
6 Eternals 05-Nov Walt Disney 165
7 No Time to Die 08-Oct United Artists 161
8 A Quiet Place: Part II 28-May Paramount 160
9 Ghostbusters: Afterlife 19-Nov Sony Pictures 123
10 Free Guy 13-Aug 20th Century 122

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  88 comments for “Despite All the Hype, Movie Theater Ticket Sales in 2021 Down 68% from 19 Years Ago. AMC Shares Collapse from WTF Spike

  1. Bored Ape says:

    Someone should combine Disney+, Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon into a single service and call it…. Cable.

    • 2banana says:

      Maybe throw in commercials and local news and local sports and call it…TV network.

      • WyleeEconomist says:

        Then someone should create a stealth startup for a new streaming service that has negotiated contract rates with the producers themselves to cut out the production companies themselves so consumers can have access to all the content they want, commercial free for one, low low price…

        • Anthony A. says:

          Hey, this is America. Everyone get a piece of the consumer pie here.

        • NBay says:

          “This country was founded on the principle that one Corporation couldn’t hog all the slaves leaving the others [corporations] to wallow in poverty”

          -Eric Cartman

  2. otis says:

    cem, its obvious to most that the same cultural messages occur in nearly all new programming after about 2007 and there is concentration of media ownership to like 6 companies.

    Probably shouldnt have said moonbats, sorry if I triggered you.

    The problem is junk programming, just look at Netflix stock.

  3. Linnaeus says:

    Maybe the movie theaters could team up with movie makers to, I don’t know, make something actually worth watching? Especially at $25 pp between. tix, popcorn, etc.? An old-fashioned flick that’s well-crafted, with interesting characters, a real plot, and maybe even genuine dialogue? Not animated, not just an awful endless string of explosions and carnage with no real story line, not a teenage boy’s aggressive fantasy, not something that depends entirely on super hyped animated special effects and definitely not PC. Dare I ask for something just nice? Uplifting? Educational? Or even humorous? It’s going to be a very long time before I go back to the theater, I’m afraid, and my absence will have nothing to do with covid.

    • 728huey says:

      What’s wrong with BIPOC avengers fighting the forces of evil? Sounds pretty positive to me. They represent a huge crowd section of American citizens.

    • Synthetic Gold says:

      You won’t see any of their movies in the theater, but on your home screen check out StarMediaEN. Recent productions from Russia, subtitled in English. I’ve watched a half dozen of the films recently and enjoyed them for their charm, grown-up storylines, characters you can relate to, and lots of attractive Russian women.

      StarMediaEN is on YouTube. With the Chrome browser you can cast them to a big screen TV.

    • Cookdoggie says:

      That kind of movie would attract a grand total of 18 people. They sell us what we want. The decline in movie quality matches society’s.

  4. Mark says:

    Nice movie content – Just like Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, The Pawnbroker, On The Waterfront, Bladerunner, 2001, etc.

    See what nepotism and greed do to an industry ? Something that used to be an art form ?

    • phleep says:

      It goes back to the intelligence of the crowd, which seems to have diminished with the idiocy-amplification of the path taken by our version of tech “progress”. Noise has exploded, it is growth commodity. I think (seriously) a similar thing happened when we went from hunting-gathering to agriculture and sedentary, regimented life: brains shrank.
      Nobody (I’m aware of) is getting rich catering to intelligent consumers, or overestimating consumers’ intelligence. Look at politics and stocks: same frightful path.

      • TheRealMRDyno says:

        I concluded a while ago that the reason I’m not rich is my failure to embrace the stupidity of others.

      • GSH says:

        You are not wrong. Life was tough as a hunter/gatherer requiring lots of intelligence. Not many made it to reproductive age. Humanity was at the edge of extinction several times. With the easy sedentary life our brains have shrunk. The movie “Idiocracy” may be prophetic.

        • Lisa says:

          Living in cities and gathering information from others is now an even worse problem with the exponential rise in technology. We will be obsolete

      • nick kelly says:

        Was with you til this: ‘I think (seriously) a similar thing happened when we went from hunting-gathering to agriculture and sedentary, regimented life: brains shrank.’

        Which is nuts. Ag is sedentary? Look up ‘sedentary’ The first few thousand years of ag when this ‘dumbing down’ supposedly began there were no machines. Just labor.

        As Europeans moved into places where the groups were still hunter- gatherers they
        did not encounter a lot of deep thinking. No one wondered, like Newton did, what kept the moon ‘in her orb’. Is this racist? No, because in the European Dark Ages it was the same. (The horse collar was forgotten at the depths, cutting the primitive ag further)

        Agree the fruits of intellect, i.e., thinking, have been wasted to produce a lot of crap but don’t throw out the baby with the bath water, especially if you want heated water. .

        • NBay says:

          The real question is when and where did we make the major wrong turns in our “thinking”.

      • Randy says:

        “My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it either.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

    • Lone Coyote says:

      The new Blade Runner was the last movie I saw in theaters before the pandemic (or since for that matter). I’d say it was worth it, but there aren’t a whole lot of films out there like that these days.

      • Harrold says:

        That is the last movie I saw too. You have good taste.

        I’d like to tell the studios and theatres they NEED TO PAY ME to come back. I’m sure not going to pay to see commercials, political propoganda or talentless writing that has no story. Free is too expensive. I would need $100 an hour to sit through that.

      • NBay says:

        Star Wars was my last time in a theatre…..but I went twice. Ever since I just waited…..but then Stereo, sushi, funny coffee and a ton of other things just blew right past me, too. I haven’t been a very helpful mainstream consumer.
        My mom once said, “You are 30 years old, are you going to wear Levis and t-shirts all your life?”. I did quit Levis for Dickeys, and Penny’s t-shirts for fast gas 3-4 for $10 t-shirts during GFC. And I did let most longer term GFs dress me and furnish and equip the domicile with whatever they saw fit….it gave them more shopping therapy, and why should I hog any of it if I didn’t need it?

    • Mike G says:

      Movies like these are being made, but they aren’t ‘blockbusters’. Plus everything also has to cater to an international (read: Chinese) audience, and subtleties of character and dialogue don’t translate well.
      So loud and dumb are the order of the day.

      • NBay says:

        Amy G says there are lots of good movies at the Sundance Festival, wherever that is.
        Yeah, South Park did some stuff on the movies for Chinese audiences….and Mickey M claimed, “He’s been in charge since the 50’s, in case anyone hasn’t noticed”.

  5. Mark says:

    and ……Wings of Desire, Ordinary People, The Hours, etc. etc. etc.

    Just what the Hollywood nephews like now ….. right ?

  6. OK Boomer says:

    Reasons I quit going to movies:
    1. Increasingly uncivil culture (chatting and friendly horseplay during movies distracting from the main event. Whatever happened to the flashlight bearing staff who used to kick kids out for disturbing patrons? Now those same kids are the parents with even less respect)
    2. Lack of movie theme imagination (how many versions of increasingly plot-thin Spiderman or Justice League does one person need to see?); themes increasingly dark (culture depends on whether we feed the dark or light in us, I choose the light)
    3. Ridiculous prices (since nothing made is compelling theater, might as well watch a $4 Netflix or Prime rental from the comfort of home and personal refrigerator, where the snacks are a fraction of the price, and buy bitcoin for the grandkids with the savings)

    • Apple says:

      I mis $.20 a gallon gasoline too.

    • NBay says:

      #1 was the primary reason for going, grades 3-12…the flashlight guy was just extra fun. But in HS, the theatre (which is now an historic landmark) had Wed and Sun adults only….we always had Sat, sometimes open Fri. Did drive-in time towards end of HS and on up to Star Wars, too. Tami (Tammy?) Show only one I remember.

  7. Xaver says:

    AMC is still a short, holding a small short position in Jan ’23 $ 40.- Calls.

    • RepubAnon says:

      With the advent of cheap big-screen TVs and the ability to stream movies on. phones/tablets, the movie theater is going to suffer the same fate as vaudeville theaters – or family dinners.

      On a side note, this Boomer notes that the current movies routinely portray environmentalists and folks encouraging population control as the villains. (Examples: Godzilla vs Rodan and Thanatos.). Not very leftist…

      • Jake W says:

        that’s the main reason. once streaming, large screen tvs and sophisticated sound systems became mainstream, it started a negative downward spiral. enough people were content to watch at home, so the theaters had to raise prices on the remaining theater goers to stay in business. that led to more people deciding it was no longer worth the cost, and here we are.

        it also didn’t help that theaters never had normal food like sandwiches, but high calorie crap. when you add in the bad behavior of other theater goers, it’s not a surprise at all that people had enough.

      • NBay says:

        “Not very leftist”

        I think it’s just comical as hell (dark humor) that the GOP had to jump in bed with the “Christian Right Calvinists” to get votes.

        Barry G warned you guys about those preachers.

  8. John V says:

    Wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.
    Price of movie tickets is immoral.

  9. CCCB says:

    Reddit crowd is dead. That was a sure sign of the top … same with cryptos

  10. David Hall says:

    COVID filled hospitals and empty theaters. Streaming bundles and free YouTube videos. I can get local news programs of major metro areas across the U.S. There are problems in those areas too. I read the India Economic Times some time ago. They wrote Indians were selling dollars. They have mid single digit inflation. No escaping it in a fantasy movie theater.

    • Dazed And Confused says:

      That India Times article was likely a joke.
      The Indian economy is awful – their unemployment was at a 45 year high BEFORE the pandemic and most of their banks are technically insolvent.
      The rupee has been losing value against the US dollar for years.
      When I visited almost 20 years ago, was 37 rupees to a dollar, now it’s double that.
      5+% inflation is normal for India. This is the first time I can remember Indian inflation being lower than US.
      Whenever I visit India, the humble greenback seems to go a long way and all my Indian in-laws (large extended family) love receiving dollars.
      In my experience however, Indians don’t trust any paper money and are wary of financial assets.
      They all want gold and land.

      • Ann Drake says:

        Indians (and similar crowd) all want California farmland…but they want it cheap. We have some super premium California farmland for sale but the offers from them are less than it’s cost + long term inflation. Why? The crop returns (fundamentals) won’t make the payments these days, if they ever did in California. We can grow anything but at the worlds highest cost of production.

        Farmland values may not be a hedge against inflation anymore like you might think.

  11. 2banana says:

    Fundamentals don’t matter anymore…

    Until it does.

  12. Winston says:

    “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

    Ah, yes, bow to your new Chinese overlords.

    New Book: Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win


    The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower – 2016

    I was and is NOT a “secret,” too much money was to be made by not looking for it.

    Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept – 2019

    Once again, they weren’t “sleeping.”

  13. AlamedaRenter says:

    Wolf delete this drivel please and thanks.

  14. Jake W says:

    i am a conservative, but i have to agree with alameda that this is irrelevant drivel. what the article is about is not the merits of watching movies in general or the politics of hollywood, but about watching movies in theaters versus watching movies at home.

    • don says:

      Drivel can be interesting, and usually the underlying pretext and context with archetypes and stereotypes. I wonder if Wolf would do a similar study of Drive Ins Vs theaters Vs the boob tube? Maybe Paradise Under The Dashboard Lights was the year of peak Drive Ins, if not consuming meatloaf.

    • COWG says:


      You missed it…

      The article is about the profits of theaters indeed, but also relevant is the “why” people don’t want to go to the theaters and give them their money…

      As I see it, the drivel is on topic…

      Nice to see the Boomer Police are represented…

      But then again, I had to look up “moonbat”…. :)

  15. Anthony says:

    The scary thing for cinemas, is how blockbusters are made and the staggering costs, mainly through the thousands of Techies who do all the work.

    The actors do very little, other than wave broom handles around as in the case of Star Wars, the teckies do the rest. Teckies are very expensive and you need hundreds to do a film. So, if they make more back from being online, then that’s where they will be.

  16. Swamp Creature says:

    Movies in theaters have descended into nothing more than computer generated cartoons which in my book are a complete waste of time and money. I have put them on my list of worthless activities that I no longer indulge in. The list is getting longer every day. I have plenty other things I can do with my free time.

    • joe2 says:

      I agree. I watch movies at home, on a foreign streaming service which includes many foreign movies as well as US releases. I found most of the movies on the “blockbuster” list boring – of the seven I started, I finished only 2.

      Learning how to do something new on YouTube is far more enjoyable.

      It’s no fun still stuck at home without being allowed to travel and wander freely. And I’m afraid that after this misguided subjugation is over, everyone will have taken the opportunity to at least double prices. I have refundable reservations all over the world just in case.

  17. Gabby Cat says:

    Watching movies is an escape from reality for most people. It is no surprise that the highest grossing are mostly comic book movies. I believe there is a lesson buried in that bottom line.

  18. MiTurn says:

    Perhaps theaters are going the way of professional sports: smaller and smaller audiences supporting what was once a more broadly popular entertainment.

  19. Jake W says:

    remember, for all of the teeth gnashing on wall street, the s&p is roughly where it was in october. not two years ago, not last year, but a mere three months ago. so all of the “correction” so far has been nothing more than shedding the unjustified melt up from the past three months.

    • SocalJim says:

      Cryptos are not in a correction. They are in a downfall … Why? The concern is if the US slaps financial sanctions on Russia, Russia might turn to Cryptos, so the US would then throw restrictions on Cryptos. This is not just a meltup.

      • Jake W says:

        i’m not even talking about cryptos, as those are crap in the first place, in my opinion. but yes, to your point, a 50% drop from the highs shows that it’s not a “store of value” any more than playing blackjack at the casino is.

    • NBay says:

      If you look at a long term S&P chart, you will see QUITE CLEARLY the melt-up began in 1980. Ditto for incarcerated Americans.

      There are many others with a hockey stick shape from then, both up and down.

  20. Mendocino Coast says:

    The Ride has started Down we Go ?

  21. CreditGB says:

    Gee, could this be part of the problem?

    …” as the meme-stock crowd was a lot more excited about buying its shares and driving up their prices than about buying movie tickets.”

    Movies are simply unentertaining cookie cutter versions rolled out on the movie showroom floors with new name stickers on them.
    Flash, bang, boom, super heroes can only be rebranded just so many times. Dull and boring. Reality is a lot more exciting.

    • BuySome says:

      Anticipation of reality may be exciting. Reality itself lasts only about as long as the window of a camera set to 1/500 shutter speed. At that instant, reality becomes history, much like the money dumped into those AMC stocks at the wrong time. The after effects of reality are a whole new reality each moment.

  22. Nathan Dumbrowski says:

    My two cents. I purchase a $22 membership from AMC to watch up to three movies a week. I wonder how that is reflected in movie ticket sales. If I see three movies total do they each get $7.33/credit towards the figures shown above? Perhaps they list the subscriptions into some other field.

    What if I see 10 movies in a month would they list $2.20 ticket purchase

    • Wolf Richter says:

      The bet here is that most people will not go to the movies 3 times a week, especially if they’re somewhat particular what they want to watch. That’s the bet with all these types of memberships. Sure, there is that person out there who wants to go to every movie no matter what, but that would be a small number of people.

      • Jake W says:

        yes, that’s also the model of planet fitness with its $10/month gym memberships and to a lesser extent, netflix. obviously, planet fitness can’t stay open with the gyms full of people paying $10/month, but tons of people sign up thinking it’s really cheap, and never go.

        contrast that to the $150/month equinox or whatever it costs. those people are going to be sure to get their money’s worth.

      • Red says:

        I’ve gone to the movie theater once in the last 2 years and that was only because I was invited as a family outing. But at home on the pirated fire stick, I watch about five movies a week.

      • BuySome says:

        Ahh, the great past mistake of University Housing to assume that meal tickets should be priced on the idea that any given student would only attend 70% of meals. And in the middle of an inflationary environment with downturns in employment. Seeing King Rat as a child taught me that stew-is-stew, and survivors keep an eye out for second servings. Wonder how many kids had a lesson from Empire of the Sun that “People will do anything for a potatoe”? Free-feeding any animal can backfire on the parties dispensing such. Has the keg been tapped? Fill ‘er up, then!

        • CreditGB says:

          Interesting….university meal tickets. What happens to those in locked down or virtual only campuses? Becomes a donation? Refund? (God forbid).

      • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

        My comment was more about how does the movie theatre attribute my ticket sale to the movie? I understand the over/under bid they are hoping to get out of the membership. You called out ticket sales. I wonder if they quantify my sale as a ticket purchase or a membership on the books. I can tell you that for the last two months the movie theatres have been pretty packed and I look around. I did one time in the height of COVID 2020 get to have a movie to myself more than once. Not so since 2Q21

    • Susan says:

      The movie theatre is counting on you spending your hard earn money on popcorn, soda, candy. The markup on these items is over 50% profit for the theatre. Also, is the movie theatre has video games, bowling, escape rooms, etc. then you will probably spend your money on those entertainment items also which is a very high profit margin for a movie theatre. I worked for a movie theatre company and that is how they stay in business.

      • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

        Solo – Zero spend on their merch
        With child – Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks

  23. phleep says:

    I feel sorry for the kids who were not (as I was) forced to read something like Moby Dick. Yeah, old school, a whole book. Add on the loss of developmental years from latchkey childhood and now COVID. Like the pathetic futuristic masses in Idiocracy, I come to feel deep pity for them, like bad infant nutrition victims. If only then they weren’t surly and assertive too, but enough are (stoked by the trash being fed through social media). I rejoice whenever my college students show discernment and high-quality thoughtfulness.

    • BuySome says:

      No film can live up to even the worst written books. But it is an artform unto itself. Not meant to be Cliff Notes or to ruin your imagination from reading. Just about the film maker’s own perception and a type of shared storytelling. College professors write books about cinema and film techniques. The movie makers read books too. It’s not competitive ruination, but just another occupation of the thinking mind. They can live side by side, but the read book will always bring critique about the film.

  24. Brent says:

    Having only enough of a reputation to be regarded as “the kind of man who goes to “Oh! Calcutta!” to look at the audi­ence.”

    Today DCI James Schlesinger would not even bother.What is there to watch ?

    400lbs slob in front of you with a cubic yard of popcorn and bucket of cola with constantly ringing cell phone ? Wearing a cap turned 180 degrees so everybody behind him can read the logo “F… You !”

    The Matrons — a staple in movie theaters from 1930s to the 1960s — made sure children behaved, ruling with an iron fist as they chased out truants, shushed gigglers, and rushed their young charges into designated sections, usually a back row or aisle seat.

    What AMC movie theaters need is Matrons with Cattle Prods.Then AMC stock will skyrocket again.

    • Apple says:

      When was the last time you were at a movie? I think you are out of touch with how things are today.

      • Brent says:

        2017, ArcLight multiplex, Lincoln Park,Chicago

        Watched Arnold,Jean-Claude,Silvester and Dolf – all of them in one movie.Only Bruce was missing (he was fired for demanding $1M per day).

        They aged considerably since the 80’s, but for lack of another choice producers keep dusting them off…

        I think it was the end of my movie-going career.

  25. Wisdom Seeker says:

    Followups to yesterday’s post:

    1) Based on the historical record, a negative close today would eliminate from consideration several of the “bull bounces back” outcomes, tilting the remaining outcomes more towards the looming-crash and/or bear market scenarios.

    2) In the 1987 crash, the day after the market landed on the 200-day average, it went down another 5%. That was the day before all heck really broke loose. So if the S&P closes down 4-5% today (or more) without any closing rally off the lows, that keeps the “1987 repeat” scenario in play. It’s -3.8% as I type this.

    3) I’d love to hear what others use to assess “oversold” conditions from which to anticipate a bounce. In the 2020 COVID plunge, the market cut thru the 200-day on 2/27, threatened a big plunge on 2/28 but rallied off the bottom (closing a lot less down), and then rallied up clinging to the 200-day for a few days before turning around and plunging again on March 6&9. To my eye it looks as though, if the S&P rallies a bit into the close and ends the day down only half as much as t the lows of the day (or higher), then it could rally tomorrow, but confirming indicators would be really useful. I look at the volatility index (VIX), put/call ratio, and the NYSE money-flow-index (misnamed but it works) indicators, but they won’t tell their tales until after the close today. And it’s time to get to work again…

  26. Seen it all before, Bob says:

    I have a practical point of view.

    We do go to movie theater as a family at times. At $20 per ticket and popcorn and drinks, it costs almost $150 for a family to go.

    Costco offers an 85″ HDTV for about $2000. Or about the cost of a movie per month for a year. I get prime seating in comfortable chairs in a quiet environment that I don’t have to wait in line or drive to.

    And I get to keep the TV for years.

    • Tony22 says:

      Costs less than $100 in supplies to paint a 144″ or larger movie screen on a garage wall. Larger if ceiling higher than 8 feet. Old computer on ethernet cable, or your newer phone, with right cables, hooked to a new Video Projector and surround sound system and for less than $2000, you can have your own home theater, a year’s worth of family movie admissions.

      Payback’s even shorter if you figure parking, junk food and gas to get there. Your control of what, when and how you watch-priceless. A Bidenflation, property tax free way to raise the value of your home and gain hundreds of hours not driving and misallocating your hard earned dollars.

    • Anthony A. says:

      I was in Walmart yesterday and they were selling 65″ flat screen TVs for $400. Nuts. TCL brand, not 4K, but with Roku.

  27. nick kelly says:

    Trivia re: probs in the movie biz:

    Just before Covid hit, UK giant Cineworld agreed to buy Canadian Cineplex. Forget how much but over a billion, maybe several.
    Then Covid hit and the UK outfit tried to pull out. Sadly for them, the thick contract excludes health issues as way out. Cineplex is suing. Cineworld is advancing a lot of very weak arguments: ‘Cineplex wasn’t keeping places clean’ type of thing.

    Wouldn’t be surprising if Cineworld files BK if verdict
    gives Cineplex what they are asking.

  28. Phoneix_Ikki says:

    Geez, speaking of plunge, where’s the plunge protection team this morning? As I type, 900 pts down after last week…I know nothing goes to heck in a straight line but still..

    I get the feeling that by this week end, we’ll bounce back up to before last week, plunge protection team is gonna be back and so are all those “savvy” dip buyers and meme buyers. Not to mention, the market is probably playing Weimar Powell like a fiddle. Think about raising interest rate? Don’t even think about it cause here’s our tantrum and we’re calling your bluff.

    Perhaps that’s enough for Powell will change his tone this week and announce we need to slow down on rate hike projection due to development in the market..Feel like I have seen this pictures too many times every time we get a near correction scenario.

    • Brent says:

      PPP is in the meeting right now,it is called Death-by-Powerpoint,they’ll figure something out…

      Their modus operandi gradually changes.

      -In 2016-2020 stocks start falling at the opening,2 hours later the trend reverses and stocks start skyrocketing again

      -in 2020-2021 stocks keep falling during the session then sharply spike upward in the last 15 minutes of trading

      -in 2021-2022 the chest pad jolt is applied to DJIA futures BEFORE trading begins.Most of the times it works but occasionally, like today,it does not.

      I am not a trader but this BS stares at me from the top of WSJ mobile page every day.

      • Phoenix_Ikki says:

        You just might be right….market is now back to only 500 pts down. PPT meeting must have ended and all the dip buyers are done huffing hopium again. The way things are going, we might just end the day up or flat…

  29. JRHill says:

    Movie theaters were really good, innocent venues when I was in my dating years. I still could love the artificially flavored greasy popcorn tub and the person at the ‘pump’. Just one more please? My pants almost stuck to my legs on the bus ride home from the theater. A date was hard to get when you had to take the city bus.

  30. Seneca's Cliff says:

    The action is moving from movies to high profile TV series. Taylor Sheridan’s two different series, “Yellowstone” and “1883” are bringing in record audiences even though you have to jump through many hoops to watch them. They also signed some kind of political seas change as both of them are about traditional values, manliness, loyalty and vigilante justice. Disney’s Mandalorian and now the “Book of Bobba Fett” are also bringing in huge audiences that used to be the realm of block buster movies. In some ways the 2 hour movie is a relic of the brick and mortar movie theater. Once you are beaming straight to the home multi-part series might make more sense.

  31. Xavier Caveat says:

    Loved going to the movies and in particular seeing a film on a giant screen of which there were many, and movies were once a conduit of conversation before the internet, in that it gave you something in common to talk about if you’d both seen it.

    That all faded away when the movies went CGI with a slant on fantasy & blowing shit up corresponding with this here contraption killing the need for post movie chit chat.

    The quality has plummeted but there’s always older eras that have great films.

  32. fred flintstone says:

    Got to hand it to Musk….he sure knows when to sell stock.

  33. rick m says:

    Going to the movies was an event once, when TV sets and programs were embryonic and expensive and the cinema was a mature entertainment venue. You saw your neighbors and other people who looked and acted like your neighbors, and absorbed the group reaction to the movie. Also a mating ritual for the young, practicing for the drive-in. Now at-home entertainment rivals the cinema, in a technical sense anyway. Streaming yields audio, why the expense and inconvenience of vinyl records? I’ve got several hundred i haven’t spun yet, and I’d never have noticed them on some internet list. it’s something of a mini-event to discover an extraordinary performance of a favorite piece. Unplanned enjoyment. Randomization of choice pays off then, and the internet is opposed to Randomization, because there’s no predictable profit stream in it. No at-home media could have substituted for the dozens of live performances by famous musicians i was lucky enough to get to see and hear. A neighbor recommending a movie then meant more than thirty reviews dissecting everything today. Cheap and easy isn’t everything. None of these titles are targeted for my age group, so will the entire experience sell to teenagers and young families enough to pay it’s way these days? Entertainment of this kind is to escape quotidian reality for a while, get out of the house maybe? Everybody’s sick of their house, and will go out if they can afford it to get rid of cabin fever, but a normal will return sometime and people will want to be entertained. Almost every little municipality or picturesque area has some sort of festival moneymaker event now, sometimes multiples thereof, some places have no other reason to be otherwise. Budget-strapped administrations will dream up more. Themed museums are popular around here. Can cinema compete, with considerable fixed expenses and not a big local payroll to show for it?
    “Old Yeller” made me a dog lover for life.
    “Venom” probably wouldn’t have.

  34. Swamp Creature says:

    Most movies today are nothing more than computer generated cartoons. No acting or character development. I’d rather watch re-runs of “Have gun will Travel” in black & white.

  35. plumbing says:

    If you are an AMC executive, remember to dump all personal AMC shares while at the same time convince apes to hodl their shares. Also, new equity issuance when?

    On a more serious note, I don’t know whose behavior running a public company is more egregious: Robinhood’s CEO, Coinbase, or AMC ceo. I would’ve put Chamath Palihapitiya in league with the 3 others, but he is a special snowflake.

  36. Island Teal says: is a place where you can still find movies from the past and new releases. It is still operating, although without the next day delivery of when there were 50+ fulfillment centers. Incredible back catalogue. Still a great deal and all from the comfort of your home. I know a guy from when it was a startup.

  37. Anon1970 says:

    If you are not very happy with what movie theaters have to offer, invest in an Amazon Fire TV Stick and learn how to program it.

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