Happy ending for theaters this summer not in the script

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NEW YORK (AP) - Movie theater stocks took a beating Wednesday after AMC Entertainment previewed a grim earnings report. AMC's announcement came amid broader pessimism about what has been a lackluster summer movie season.

AMC shares lost nearly a quarter of their value a day after the company's announcement late Tuesday that its U.S. box office receipts tumbled 4.4 percent in the second quarter.

A disappointing summer at the box office has put pressure on major North American theater chains, which split grosses with Hollywood studios.

Shares in AMC sank $4.90, or more than 23 percent, to $15.85 in afternoon trading.

Other movie theater operators also took a hit Wednesday as shares in Regal Entertainment and Cinemark Holdings both declined about 5 percent.