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Taylor Swift's and Beyoncé's concert films helped boost AMC's revenue

AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron credited “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” for the theater chain's fourth-quarter revenue growth.
taylor swift beyonce eras tour
Beyoncé and Taylor Swift at the "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" world premiere at AMC The Grove 14 in Los Angeles in October.John Shearer / Getty Images for TAS file

Taylor Swift's and Beyoncé's concert films topped box office charts and helped bring the masses back to the big screen — so much so that they drove the majority of AMC Theatres' revenue increase last fall, the company said.

Total revenue for AMC Theatres grew more than $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, AMC Entertainment Holdings said in a news release, compared to around $990 million the year before.

Its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (a value referred to EBITDA) also nearly tripled to $42.5 million last quarter, as opposed to $14.5 million for the last quarter of 2022.

Fans arrive at the world premiere of the concert film "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour"
Fans arrive at the world premiere of the concert film "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" at AMC The Grove 14 in Los Angeles on Oct. 11.Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP file

AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron said in an earnings webcast Wednesday that the theater chain's role as the distributor for both “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” played a key role in upping those numbers.

"Literally all of that increase in AMC’s revenue and EBITDA is attributable to our having shown these two movies in our theaters in the U.S. and internationally,” Aron said.

He added that the two concert films alone outgrossed "all of what was offered theatrically" last quarter by competitors such as Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate.

"This is a stunning result given that neither of these films were on anyone’s drawing board until midyear and that they were the first movies ever distributed by AMC in our entire 103-year history," Aron said. "What a triumph for our company."

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AMC Entertainment Chairman and CEO Adam Aron in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2021.Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images file

Swift's movie became the highest-grossing domestic concert film of all time after its opening weekend in October, not long before Beyoncé dominated the box office with her own subsequent release. The excitement around the films was palpable as moviegoers decked out in themed outfits and turned theaters into concert venues.

Also in Wednesday’s call, AMC Theatres said it would introduce new versions of its famous pre-show commercial featuring Nicole Kidman, a campaign Aron described as having taken on a “cultlike nature.”

Starting Friday, AMC will debut the first of three 30-second versions of the pre-show advertisement, which will play on a rotating basis as they are rolled out in the coming months.

“These spots are never-before-seen-in-theatres versions of the original, iconic ad,” an AMC Theatres spokesperson said in an email.

Despite major successes in 2023, Aron said the year didn't live up to its full potential. The domestic box office had just seemed likely to return to pre-pandemic levels by last summer, he said, when labor action delayed new releases in Hollywood as writers and actors went on strike against the major production studios.

Still, the momentum generated by hits such as "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer," as well as this year's "Mean Girls" remake and Friday's theatrical release of "Dune: Part Two," points to a positive trajectory for movie theaters this year.

The buzz around recent and coming blockbusters — especially as theaters advertise exclusive merchandise and collectible popcorn buckets — has already revitalized the moviegoing experience for audiences across the country.

"Clearly, moviegoers flock to theaters when Hollywood releases films in quantity and in quality," Aron said.