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Cinema Stocks Pop as Apple Eyes Movie Theater Foray with $1B

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Cinema Stocks Pop as Apple Eyes Movie Theater Foray with $1B
Photo: Unsplash

On Thursday, stocks of cinema mainstays, including AMC and IMAX, jumped on news that Apple plans to boost its theater visibility. 

Cinema stocks climbed Thursday following reports that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) plans to spend $1 billion yearly on theatrical film releases. This investment is part of the tech giant’s efforts to increase its visibility in Hollywood and attract subscribers to its Apple TV+ streaming business.

Cinemark (NYSE: CNK) shares jumped 10% following the news, with IMAX (NYSE: IMAX) and AMC (NYSE: AMC) rising 4% and 5%, respectively. Furthermore, Canadian exhibition chain Cineplex (TSE: CGX) also saw a stock upsurge as Apple crystallized its cinema release plans.

Although the theater chains gave up some gains later in the day, they all finished in positive territory.

Amid the upswing in US cinema stocks, Apple shares were up 0.70% in pre-trade and last changed hands at $159.

Cinema Stocks Rise as Apple Plans Annual 12-film Theatrical Release

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple plans to release at least 12 films every year in cinemas. The billion-dollar fund outlay is currently the most significant commitment to the cinema world by an internet company.

Previously, Apple released films directly to Apple TV+, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ However, the consumer electronics multinational company looks to follow Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) into cinema.

Apple’s commitment to drum up awareness for Apple TV+, which still lags behind Netflix and Disney+, also reflected in management personnel. The tech giant recently onboarded ex-Disney marketing and content exec Ricky Strauss to Apple TV+. The plan is for Apple to release fewer movies in theaters next year and increase output over time. However, Apple’s current release slate of 12-15 films already puts the tech giant on par with major studios, including Paramount Pictures (NASDAQ: PARA). Furthermore, Apple could partner with major studios on the release since it does not own a Hollywood studio with major distribution channels.

Leading exhibitors welcome the theatrical ambitions of streaming platforms, with Cinemark chief executive officer Sean Gamble saying:

“With all the benefits that we continue to hear from our traditional partners about how movies they’re releasing theatrically are providing greater benefits to their streaming platforms, we’ve thought for a while that it’s only a matter of time before the streaming companies get into theatrical in a much more significant way.”

Upcoming Apple iMac

Apple’s theatre plan comes amid progressive plans to introduce several new products later this year. Early in the month, the tech powerhouse revealed that it was developing several desktops and laptops, including its new iMac line. According to Apple, the all-in-one desktop computer will be one of the most powerful computers on the market. The company also revealed that the iMac is already in the advanced stages of development – engineering validation testing (EVT).

The iMac will use a new M-series chip instead of the older M1. However, Apple said the computer would retain the same color palette as the current model, including blue, pink, and orange.

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