To be sure, a lot of stocks did well today: The Federal Reserve said it’s in no hurry to tighten credit, contributing to a 2% rise in the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500. But shares of exhibition chains beat the pack as industry leaders said they won’t show Sony’s The Interview after a mysterious hacker threatened to attack venues that present the comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
AMC Entertainment led with a 5% gain followed by Carmike Cinemas (+3.2%), Marcus (+3.0%), Cinemark (+2.7%), and Regal (+2.5%).
Even before today’s announcements, AMC received a boost from Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil, who designated the stock a “top pick” for 2015 and raised his target price from $26 to $30. The company’s efforts to load up on plush seats and IMAX screens should make its venues especially attractive next year. Analysts expect theaters to be packed as Hollywood releases a slew of sequels to blockbusters including Star Wars, The Hunger Games and Mission:Impossible.