AMC to Launch At-Home Popcorn Line at Walmart the Day Before the Oscars
Theater chain announces branded microwave and ready-to-eat popcorn lines ahead of quarterly earnings call
Ahead of its quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, AMC Theatres announced the upcoming launch of its new supermarket line of microwave and ready-to-eat popcorn, which will be exclusively available at Walmart starting March 11, the day before the Academy Awards.
The AMC popcorn will be available in classic butter, extra butter and lightly salted flavors, with microwave boxes being sold at an MSRP of $4.98 and ready-to-eat bags being sold at $3.98. By the end of its nationwide rollout, AMC expects its popcorn to be available at 2,600 Walmart locations and plans to make them available at other stores later this year.
“With the launch of AMC Theatres new line of microwave and ready-to-eat popcorn, AMC yet again
makes good on a promise made to our moviegoers and our investors,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “On March 11, which is Oscars weekend, we will enter the multi-billion-dollar retail popcorn industry with at-home popcorn that features the authentic taste of real movie theatre popcorn.”
“We are especially pleased that we are doing so in an exclusive launch with Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States. We could not have found a better partner than Walmart for this important extension of the AMC experience into the home,” Aron continued.
The new popcorn line provides AMC with another revenue stream as it seeks to raise revenue and capital during what is expected to be a resurgent 2023 for the box office. The theater chain has made headlines since the pandemic began for acquiring multiple major multiplexes closed by other chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic despite currently holding more than $5 billion in debt.
On Wall Street, the chain’s stock has become the subject of a new shareholder lawsuit looking to block a proposed plan by the company to turn its preferred shares — called “APE” shares by the company — into common shares in an effort to build capital. While a shareholder vote on that plan is set to be held by AMC on March 14, the plan cannot be implemented if approved until after an injunction hearing is held in Delaware court on April 27.
AMC is likely to report another quarterly loss this Tuesday, as was the case with rival chain Cinemark last week. While “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” enjoyed immense success at the box office this past winter, their revenue was not enough to prevent the North American box office from seeing a 14% year-over-year drop from last quarter as few other films found serious traction at the box office at the end of the year.
Still, analysts expect a rebound in Q1 2023 thanks to more frequent releases from studios, holdover grosses from “Avatar 2” and “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” and audience turnout for surprise hits like Universal’s horror film “M3GAN.”