Movie theaters are once again becoming the weekend hangout spot, signifying a slow return to normalcy in the post-pandemic era. With over half of all Americans having received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, public spaces are opening up again. And with theaters reopening, many are jumping on the chance to sit in their over-air conditioned local theaters to watch a new movie on the big screen instead of their couch. Movie theater stocks are seeing an awful lot of movement as a result.
Cinemark (NYSE:CNK) is one of the recent theater stock winners. Memorial Day Weekend came at the perfect time; states are lifting mask mandates around the holiday weekend, and movie studios are readying some heavy releases. The resulting rush to fill theater seats netted cinema complexes over $100 million in ticket sales alone. Cinemark is up 7.7% on the first trading session since the weekend. This continues a big year for the company; CNK stock is up over 35% since January.
Likewise, Reddit favorite AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) is seeing huge gains. Though in the case of AMC, the successful holiday weekend is an afterthought. The real gains for AMC come from the r/WallStreetBets community putting effort behind driving AMC to its highest high since 2017. Trading volume for the stock is up fourfold on the day’s session, with over 425 million shares trading hands.
The resulting gains are costing short sellers $591 million.
Movie Theater Stocks, Production Companies Move Upward
Theaters aren’t alone in their gains. IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) just had its best domestic opening weekend since 2019 thanks to the horrifying A Quiet Place Part II. The opening reeled in $5.3 million in revenue for the company despite its big screens accounting for only a small percentage of the total showing the film.
Likewise, Disney (NYSE:DIS) is seeing movement thanks to the theater success of its 101 Dalmatians spinoff, Cruella. The film grossed over $26 million at the box office, bolstering an already successful year for the company, which is raking in profits from its streaming service. DIS stock gained slightly on Tuesday.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.