Last night, AMC Theaters stock was around $5, but when we woke this morning, it had surged to more than $15 a share. Stocks jumped when AMC announced they would not be going bankrupt, but the real push came from folks on Reddit who turned it into a "meme stock" to buy. 

And it's not just AMC. They also jumped on the Blockbuster stock bandwagon, trading the remnants of the lost company and causing BB Liquidating Inc. to rise 774% yesterday. This is unheard of for a company that only has one site left. 

This leads us to the big question... are Redditors the answer to save cinema? 

They're keeping a theater chain alive and putting their force behind a video rental store. They changed GameStop's fate and bucked a system that felt rigged. If the power is with the people, and the people have all connected on Reddit... what's next? 

The answer is much more complicated. 

First, let me say that I love how Reddit has attacked short-selling stocks and thrown their weight behind products that they love. It's amazing to see people throw their weight behind companies they believe in. It made me wish they all bought my movie, Shovel Buddies, and turned it into an overnight hit. But that's the kind of self-centered greed that got Wall Street in trouble in the first place. 

I guess my meandering point here is that Redditors hold a lot of power. We've seen it wielded for fun things and to shake up the system. But we have to be careful where it goes.

I remember how websites changed the fate of movies before. I was all in when they got Snakes on a Plane to include the line, "I'm sick and tired of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane," but I was appalled when trolls drove Kelly Marie Tran from social media

We also saw Reddit rally against The Last Jedi so much that it caused Disney to change course for The Rise of Skywalker. Was that for the better? I don't know, but it took the decision out of the artists' hands, and I'll always be against that. 

Hollywood has never seen fandom wield this kind of power before. The age of the internet has been largely misunderstood by the people in power. There's a fun episode of Entourage where Rainn Wilson plays a blogger who threatens to derail Aquaman with a bad review. While that was goofy at the time, today it's a more nuanced battle. Studios want to appease fans, and artists want to tell interesting stories. Meddling and online backlash are just another thing studios have to worry about when they calculate their film releases. 

That might skew stories toward fan service, but I think it becomes a disservice to storytellers in general. No one grew up dreaming to tell other peoples' stories. We grew up wanting to tell our unique points of view. 

When they line up, you can get "Blockbuster" results. When they don't, there can be nasty fallout. 

What I think is special about Reddit is that it's not one voice. It's many voices. Sure, we see them come together to get what the collective wants, but the debate fostered in the comments susses out what the majority wants. 

Either way, the power is here now, and no one can really ignore it. Not while billion-dollar companies are brought down, and Blockbuster is resurrected. It will be interesting to see where they go next, and what influence it has on the kinds of movies we see. 

This is so much bigger than the stock market. Reddit can change the marketing, story, and ask for any movie or TV show they want. Those millions of voices matter and people want to appease them. 


I echoed a selfish sentiment earlier, but in all earnestness, I would love to see Reddit renew the cry for original films. We used to have worldbuilding and storytelling just made for movies, but now that all seems relegated to TV, while cinema is forced to rely on IP. 

I'd also like to see them beat the drum for a diversity of content and creators. 

So if I had to pick a cause for Reddit, it would be pressuring studios to make more original ideas. But I'll settle for a Criterion Collection Blu-Ray of The Burbs if that's all I can get. And I'll buy some AMC stock to join in on everything else.  

Let me know what you think in the comments.