AMC theaters - only 28% of seats are sold

by Ottie on June 27th, 2021

Though this site is focused on iBuying, I wanted to see if I could also collect interesting data on another stock with lots of online trading/chatter: AMC Theaters.  In turns out, not only can you get the fill rate (% of movies seats purchased) by date, theater, and movie, but you can also capture this data in almost real-time. 

On Saturday 6/26/2021, only 28.3% of AMC theater seats were sold.  F9 sold the highest percentage of the available seats (37.6%).

First, how did I get this data?  By going to each screening throughout the day and recording the results. Below is an example of what you can see online for a movie after it started:

Here you can see the filled vs. empty seats by hour of the day (local to the theater):

The fill % is the highest in the prime start times of 7 through 8:45 PM.  Note the fill % never breaks 40%.

Here you can see the fill rate by movie:

You’ll notice that F9 dominated the weekend in terms of seats available, seats filled, and % filled.  At the same time, we’re not close to sold-out territory.  Only 1.3% of F9 screenings were sold out (all other movies were <0.5%).

What if we just look at the prime times of 7-8:45?  Filtering on that, it shows slightly better results:

The fill rate for F9 gets to 49%.  The next move based on fill rate is A Quiet Place Part II at 33%.

Finally, let’s look at fill rates by theater:

This basically shows a picture of big theaters struggling.  The biggest five theater locations (based on seats available) sold only 14.7%.  This compares to the overall average of 28.3%.  You can see this the sea of orange empty seats at the left side of the graph.  People just aren’t packing into large theaters in the volume needed to come anywhere close to meeting the supply.  

The success story?  There are a few areas where theaters are almost sold out (smaller theaters in the middle/right of the graph above.)  What’s unique about these?  They provide in-theater dining where people serve you a meal while you watch (often in bigger chairs.)  So people are going back to the theaters, but they prefer a more comfortable home-like experience. 

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