AMC plans to reward retail traders with free popcorn and exclusives

The AMC Burbank 16 and the Batman bronze statue in Downtown Burbank.

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

AMC Entertainment is rewarding its new shareholders.

On Wednesday, the movie theater chain launched a new portal on its website just for its retail investors. The site, which requires stockholders to self-identify and sign-up for the chain’s loyalty program, contains “special offers” and company updates.

One of those special offers is a free tub of popcorn.

AMC’s retail investors have propped up company since January, sending the stock up more than 1,400% in the last five months. Shares were up more than 20% in premarket trading Wednesday.

The company said it had 3.2 million individual shareholders as of March 11, who own about 80% of the 450 million shares outstanding. Many of them were inspired by the r/wallstreetbets Reddit page to purchase the stock. The forum selected several companies that were being shorted by large hedge fund groups and decided to take action.

CEO Adam Aron has praised these investors for their support. The company delayed its annual shareholders meeting by more than a month in order to give these investors an opportunity to attend the event and “make their important voices heard.”

Aron and AMC both plan to donate $50,000 to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund — a clear nod to these new investors, who call themselves apes and refer to Aron as “Silverback.” AMC also has shifted its communication style to speak directly with shareholders via social media, including YouTube. Aron has even taken a renewed interest in Twitter, “following” hundreds of accounts tied to the “ape army.”

AMC Investor Connect is the next step in the company’s strategy of connecting with these investors. The platform provides shareholders with exclusive promotions, like free or discounted items and invitations to special screenings, as well as direct communications with Aron.

“During my five-plus year tenure as CEO at AMC, I’ve taken great pride in the relationships I have forged with AMC’s owners,” Aron said in a statement Wednesday. “With AMC Investor Connect, that effort in relationship building will continue apace even if our shareholders now number in the millions. After all, these people are the owners of AMC, and I work for them.”

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