AMC Entertainment on Monday said it will start accepting Bitcoin as payment by the end of the year. CEO Adam Aron made the announcement during the company’s second quarter earnings call on Monday afternoon, as the world’s largest cinema chain looks for new ways to drive sales while it attempts to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aron said AMC customers will be able to purchase movie tickets and concessions with Bitcoin at all U.S. theaters by the end of 2021. The company — the first major chain to accept the cryptocurrency as payment — had all of its 593 U.S. theaters operating by the end of June, AMC said on Monday.
Monday’s announcement brings together one of the more popular “meme stocks” with the original cryptocurrency. AMC, as TheWrap has previously reported, has seen its stock price surge in 2021 as it’s been adopted as one of the favorite stocks of Wall Street Bets, a popular Reddit forum where users talk about the stock market. AMC’s stock price — even after a big hit over the last month — has jumped 1,581% since opening the year at about $2 per share. Bitcoin, meanwhile, has been on a nice run this year as well, recently hitting an all-time high of nearly $64,000 per coin; Bitcoin, after its own sell-off over the last few months, cost $45,800 on Monday afternoon.
AMC on Monday afternoon reported it lost $344 million between March and June, which was better than the $440 million Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to lose during Q2. The company, like all other cinema chains, has been hard-hit over the last 18 months, as the pandemic has put blockbusters on hold and kept movie fans out of theaters. Aron on Monday said AMC is “not yet out of the woods” when it comes to weathering the pandemic’s impact, but that he can “envision a happy Hollywood ending to this story.”
Jeremy Fuster contributed to this report.