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AMC is up 80% as movie-theater stocks stocks surge after Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is effective

  • Stocks for AMC Theatres and Cinemark Theatres surged on Monday following optimistic coronavirus vaccine news from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
  • AMC shares were up 80% and Cinemark shares were up 40%. Disney shares were also up 10%.
  • It's a rare bit of good news for the movie-theater industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic. Other major chains like Regal and Cineworld have closed all locations in the US and UK.
  • The theatrical release calendar is mostly desolate for the rest of the year as most movies have been delayed, save for some Universal movies like "Freaky" and Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman 1984."
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Movie-theater stocks are surging after a leading coronavirus vaccine candidate announced good news on Monday.

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer said that its vaccine had passed the final stage of clinical trials and was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing people from developing COVID-19. It's a major milestone in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares for AMC Theatres, the biggest theater chain in world, were up 80% to $4.45 a share on Monday. Cinemark Theatres shares were up more than 40%. 

Disney shares were also up more than 10% on Monday following Pfizer's vaccine news. 

Movie theaters still have a long road to go, but this is a rare bit of good news for the theatrical industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic.

AMC and Cinemark are two major chains that remain open even when others like Regal and Cineworld have once again closed their doors in the US and UK.

AMC said last month that its unprecedented windowing deal with Universal Pictures "puts AMC in a position where we can open our theatres when others may feel the need to close." AMC and Universal agreed in July to shorten the theatrical window from the typical 75 days to just 17 days, at which point Universal could make its movies available for digital rental. AMC will receive a portion of the revenue.

Universal is one of the few movie studios to still have releases on the theatrical calendar, including the upcoming Blumhouse thriller, "Freaky."

The only tentpole movie still on the calendar this year is "Wonder Woman 1984" from Warner Bros. in December.

But for the most part, the calendar for the rest of the year is desolate, as studios have pushed major releases, like Disney's "Black Widow" and Warner Bros.' "Dune," into next year.

Disney is even debuting its Pixar movie "Soul" on its streaming service Disney Plus on Christmas Day.

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