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Movie theaters were hit hard by the pandemic but AMC's stock is soaring: what's behind it

Market watchers now call stocks like AMC and GameStop "meme stocks" because of the army of social media users driving up demand.

Stocks are soaring for AMC theaters, but it's not just because people are heading back to the movies.

Once again small-time investors are looking to make big bucks. 

Let's connect the dots

Movie theaters were hit hard by the pandemic and massive chain AMC paid the price. Some big money investors on Wall Street shorted AMC stock, basically betting it would go down even more. But that's when retail investors stepped in. 

Yea, you guessed it. That includes the Reddit users who helped drive up the price of GameStop earlier this year. 

RELATED: The story behind the GameStop stock controversy

RELATED: GameStop soars again, and Wall Street bends under the pressure

Market watchers now call stocks like AMC and GameStop "meme stocks" because of the army of social media users driving up demand.

Those retail investors have been targeting stocks that the big hedge funds are betting will fail. By increasing demand and stock prices, those small investors could cost the hedge funds big bucks. 

Now that doesn't mean AMC is a sure bet.

Theaters did get a boost with solid opening weekends for "Cruella" and "A Quiet Place 2," but 3030 was rough. 

AMC lost $4.6 billion last year, but the company is embracing its newfound popularity. It's offering shareholders perks like a free large popcorn this summer and the CEO vowed he now worked for thousands of new investors.