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Reports Are Swirling Around Amazon’s Plan To Buy AMC Theatres

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon is reportedly considering buying the largest movie theater chain in the United States, as the e-commerce behemoth goes from strength to strength amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Jeff Bezos-led firm and AMC Theatres have been in talks about a potential buyout, the Daily Mail reports. Neither party confirmed the possible deal, and Deadline Hollywood reported that no discussions had taken place at all.

Still, shares in AMC Theatres soared as a result of the press, jumping 47% in active premarket trading Monday, per MarketWatch. 

The movie theater industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with stringent stay-at-home orders making it illegal for most theaters to operate. More than 634 AMC locations in the U.S. and Canada have closed, thousands of its employees have been furloughed and the company is reportedly on the brink of a Chapter 11 filing.

Amazon, which has seen a massive spike in demand as shoppers are forced to withdraw from brick-and-mortar buying, looked at buying Landmark Theatres back in 2018 but was beaten by Cohen Media Group, per the Daily Mail. The purchase of AMC would give Amazon access to 10,000 screens globally.

Amazon, which makes content through a subsidiary, Amazon Studios, is just one of the major players in the so-called content streaming wars, which were already beginning to reshape commercial real estate.

Increasingly, streaming services have wanted to build and control their own production space and creative hubs for their talent, making that kind of real estate more valuable, as Bisnow has previously reported. If Amazon is able to acquire AMC, it would be another piece of the retail market — after books, apparel, technology and groceries — the Seattle-based tech giant has a large presence in.

Related Topics: Amazon, Jeff Bezos, AMC Theaters