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AMC’S ONTARIO 30-PLEX BOW SETS RECORD

AMC Entertainment Inc. announced Tuesday that the opening weekend of its 30-screen Ontario Mills megaplex established a record individual theater gross of $168,932 for the chain. Billed as the world’s largest megaplex, the site debuted Friday.

A company spokeswoman said that AMC’s 24-screen Grand in Dallas previously held the record. As with Ontario Mills, the Grand’s top numbers were set during its opening weekend, which was in 1995.

Additionally, the complex’s engagement of “Jerry Maguire” emerged as one of the 10 top individual weekend grossers.

The initial salvo for the Ontario Mills mega was considered encouraging in industry circles, though short of a home run. One distribution exec cautioned that it’s much too early to form a judgment on the site. By his calculation, the complex has to generated an average weekly B.O. of $150,000.

The prime reason behind industry caution remains the upcoming battle of the giants in January when Edwards Theatres launches a 24-screen operation virtually across the street from AMC. Many within the industry contend the area simply cannot support two showcase cinemas and 54 new screens.

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