Report: Amazon Eyeing Purchase of AMC Theaters

AMC has been all the buzz over the past two years after becoming a meme stock (spawned from a Reddit obsession) that sent shares rising and then plummeting so low that CEO Adam Aron even asked for a pay freeze in an attempt to compensate for shareholders’ stock losses.

But now, the theater chain is on the rise again after reports surfaced that internet behemoth Amazon is looking to purchase the company.

Related: Customers, Actors Slam AMC Theaters for New Ticket Prices that ‘Penalize People for Lower Income’

AMC was up over 21% in a 24-hour period at its peak Tuesday morning after reports that Jeff Bezos and an investment advisory team are exploring a potential acquisition.

The news was originally reported by The Intersect, which cited sources familiar with the matter.

An “Amazon insider” told the outlet that the theaters would be used as “marketing weigh stations” for the retailer, whether it’s promoting Amazon Prime movies in theaters, using the space as local distribution hubs, or collecting data from AMC customers in an attempt to produce and distribute more successful content under the Amazon name.

“Many customers interact with the AMC brand every week and physically go there,” a former Amazon executive told the outlet. “There could even be a subscription element to it as part of Prime. And it would help in booking Amazon movies.”

Neither Amazon nor AMC responded to Reuters request for comment.

Related: AMC Continues to Ride Social Media Hype as Share Prices Skyrocket to 50% Increase

AMC was in hot water last month after announcing its new ticketing system called “Sightline at AMC,” which will price tickets into three tiers based on seat selections.

“While every seat at AMC delivers an amazing moviegoing experience, we know there are some moviegoers who prioritize their specific seat and others who prioritize value moviegoing,” Eliot Hamlisch, EVP and CMO of AMC Theaters, said in a company release at the time.

AMC operates roughly 600 theaters across North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, AMC was still up 9.8% in a five-day period.