AMC rival Marcus on how theaters can win the ‘battle against the couch’

By: Ajay Pal Singh
Ajay Pal Singh
Ajay worked at Tata Motors in project planning before discovering his passion for stocks. Today, he lives in Canada… read more.
on Jun 3, 2021
  • According to Marcus CEO, it is not possible to replicate the experience of watching a movie in a theatre.
  • He thinks that the choice between watching a movie in a theatre and at home via streaming is a false choice.
  • Movie studios have been releasing their movies directly to consumers through other platforms for years.

Greg Marcus, Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS) CEO and operator of the fourth largest movie theater chain in the U.S., was on CNBC to discuss the reopening of the theatres and the challenges the industry is facing from the direct-to-consumer platforms.

The shares of Marcus are down 0.5% today. Stock is up almost 76% year-to-date and 47% for the trailing one-year period. The stock has been trending up this year with wider vaccine rollout and easing lockdown restrictions that has allowed people to go out to theatres again.

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Marcus operates 1097 screens at 89 locations in 17 states. 89% of the total theatres are currently open vs. 52% as of the end of first quarter 2021.

Theatres have a place in the ecosystem

According to the CEO, it is not possible to replicate the experience of watching a movie in a theatre. He said in a theatre you are not looking at your phones or tablets and when the lights go out, it’s just a big screen and great sound around you. He further added:

“You can’t replicate that experience. That’s what the studios see in theatrical [experience]. That’s what we see in the theatrical [experience]. It has a place in the ecosystem.”

Theatres vs. streaming

Marcus thinks that the choice between watching a movie in a theatre and at home via streaming is a false choice. Movie studios such as Disney have been releasing their movies directly to consumers through other platforms for years. So, it’s not a new trend.

He did agree that the movie runs in the theatres are getting shorter, which may have an impact on the business. But he believes that other content providers might show up to the party and might want to release their films in theatres.

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