AMC Has Big News For Movie Theater Popcorn Lovers

For most, popcorn is a key kernel to the movie-going experience. Sure, you can buy the popular snack at the supermarket any time, but it's never the same as the real stuff you get at the theater. But that all could change as the giant movie theater chain AMC Entertainment enters the lucrative popcorn market.

In a press release, the company announced its intentions to begin selling AMC Theaters Perfectly Popcorn starting in 2022, in various phases. First, AMC plans to roll out the goods in select mall locations through kiosks that will also carry other concessions — they will start in locations without an AMC movie theater, and they've planned up to 15 outlets by the end of the year with many more to come in the future. The next step will be to sell the popcorn made fresh at theater locations in food delivery apps for people to enjoy at home — as well as "to go" kits. Finally, the chain plans to roll out the snack in pre-packaged and microwaveable bags that will be available in grocery stores.

Adam Aron, Chairman of the Board and CEO of AMC, explained why entering this market was the next logical step for the chain: "Needless to say, AMC knows popcorn ever so well. On our busiest days, AMC Theatres currently pops in the range of 50 tons of popcorn per day. But the popularity of popcorn extends well beyond the doors of our movie theaters. With this new AMC initiative, we expect to reach entirely new segments of the U.S. population with our popular AMC Theatres Perfectly Popcorn."

The pandemic may have inspired AMC to make this move

AMC Entertainment CEO and Chairman of the Board Adam Aron may frame the move into the popcorn market as a natural progression, but it might have also be a smart move that's been prompted by a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, many movie theaters across the country had to shutter in 2020 as clustering together indoors in a space like a movie theater wasn't possible due to health guidelines — Variety reported that this affected 600 locations of AMC Theatres alone. Business Insider further revealed that AMC had lost $901 million in 2020 with a plunge in sales of 97% as people were stuck at home.

Furthermore, as CNBC covered in January 2021, the inability for customers to go out to movie theaters meant that studios began to release more headline-worthy films on streaming platforms. And what better way to enjoy a movie at home than with real popcorn that tastes just like it's from the theater? With this new move of introducing AMC Theatres Perfectly Popcorn to the marketplace — a recipe that has been popping for 100 years since 1920, per the press release — it's not only a smart business move, but will make many people happy too.