The biggest problem for movie theaters? Not enough movies.

The lobby at the AMC Boston Common buzzed with dozens of twenty- and thirty-somethings awaiting friends ahead of the 8 p.m. screening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on a recent Thursday. Voices bounced off the walls. People fumbled with their phones pulling up pre-brought tickets. This was a packed premiere.

The new Marvel movie took in $180 million at North American cinemas over opening weekend and is expected to be one of the highest-grossing films of the year, which could prove critical for the movie theater industry as it tries tofind its footing in 2022. Pandemic closures and streaming competition like Netflix and Hulu haveclobbered exhibitors across the country.

After a revival over the summer, with blockbusters like “Top Gun: Maverick” and Jordan Peele’s “Nope” luring patrons in droves, the industry suffered its worst September since 9/11 (aside from 2020 during the height of the pandemic). AMC is more than $5 billion in debt, and Cineworld (which operates Regal Cinemas), filed for bankruptcy in September with about $5 billion in debt.

After a revival over the summer, with blockbusters like “Top Gun: Maverick” and Jordan Peele’s “Nope” luring patrons in droves, the industry suffered its worst September since 9/11 (aside from 2020 during the height of the pandemic). AMC is more than $5 billion in debt, and Cineworld (which operates Regal Cinemas), filed for bankruptcy in September with about $5 billion in debt.

Read the full article at BostonGlobe.com.

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