Movie theater company AMC warns of box office slump

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The Marvel model for success

Let’s not all go to the movies.

A drop in business at the box office is hurting the AMC (AMC) theater chain. Its stock plunged more than 25% to an all-time low Wednesday after the company warned that its results would be below Wall Street forecasts.

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Despite big hits like “Wonder Woman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” movie grosses are down 2% from a year ago, according to figures from Box Office Mojo, which tracks the industry.

That’s because so many other high-profile releases, including “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Baywatch” and the Tom Cruise-led reboot of “The Mummy,” were huge flops.

But AMC, owned by the Chinese conglomerate Dailan Wanda Group, is not the only struggling multiplex owner. Regal Entertainment (RGC)recently told Wall Street that its results would miss the mark. So did Imax (IMAX), which also announced in June that it was laying off nearly 15% of its workers.

Related: ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel is a go

The stocks of both chains fell along with AMC on Wednesday. So did Cinemark (CNK).

Part of the problem could be that more people are choosing to stay home and wait for movies to come out on Netflix (NFLX, Tech30), Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) and other services.

This is also the so-called golden age of television. Top actors and directors are focusing on the small screen.

But Hollywood has reason to hope for a turnaround this fall.

The latest Thor movie is due out from Disney’s (DIS) Marvel in November. Wonder Woman will be back in November, too, in “Justice League.”

And Luke Skywalker and Rey will be back in December. Episode VIII of the Star Wars saga, “The Last Jedi” could be the biggest blockbuster of all time.

CNNMoney (New York) First published August 2, 2017: 9:52 AM ET


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