June 21, 2005

Loews and AMC Combine to Form Evil Empire

Posted at June 21, 2005 8:47 PM

Damn them!

AMC Plans to Acquire Loews Cineplex

At a time when most Americans say they would rather watch a movie at home, the country's second largest theater chain, AMC Entertainment Inc., announced plans Tuesday to acquire Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp.

The merged company will have ownership or interests in about 450 theaters in 30 states and 13 countries.

The announcement that the billion dollar movie houses will combine comes as ticket sales are on a 17-week slide marking the worst low since 1985 when some of the best offerings included the lackluster "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." A recent Associated Press-AOL News poll showed that nearly three-fourths of Americans would rather watch a movie from the comfort of their own homes.

...But Brandon Gray, president of boxofficemojo.com, an online box office tracker, said it makes sense that AMC and Loews would pool their resources.

"The DVD boom has made watching movies more convenient and it seems that the time between theatrical release and DVD release is getting shorter and shorter," Gray said. "Theaters will have to band together to survive."

AMC spokeswoman Pam Blase said the industry always has ups and downs.

"It's safe to say we're in a down cycle right now, but it will go up again and we will be there with a very strong company," Blase said. She could not say if the merger would result in theater closings or layoffs, saying those details would be determined in coming months...

What's up with the random jab at Peewee's Big Adventure? That's a mighty good film.



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