"AMC Theatres. We Make Movies Better." ad showing Nicole Kidman sitting in a theater. Image: screencap.

That Terrible Nicole Kidman AMC Ad Just Got a Little Bit Better

Stories feel purrfect and powerful.

One of the most frustrating advertisements about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that didn’t outwardly address it was a one-minute AMC ad featuring award-winning actress Nicole Kidman. Like the Gal Gadot sing-along of “Imagine,” except more shallow and solely for commercial reasons rather than boredom, this ad was released in late summer 2021 to draw people back to movie theaters. Regardless of intent, the ad lampooned just like the “Imagine” video, from the comments under the YouTube video to an SNL sketch. Users on the r/AMCsAList subreddit discussed dressing up as her for 2022’s Halloween. Now, a little over a year later, I’ve seen the best take, but before we get to that, let’s revisit the cringy ad.

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I went to the movies three to five times a month before the pandemic, so I totally get the idea that seeing a movie in a theater is a different experience and everything, even while having access to a handful of streaming services and YouTube. However, the pandemic changed how often I go because they didn’t take it seriously. “We promise it’s clean” isn’t good enough when you’re not, at the bare minimum, requiring masks because major theaters still run on a concession sales model, even decades later.

While the pandemic’s effect on the film industry was tied up in conversations about the individual salaries of celebrities and stock prices of theater chains (like AMC), the people most hurt were the average moviegoer and theater employee that was furloughed, got hours cut, or was forced to work in dangerous conditions. That makes it very gross that they put a rich woman in a Michael Kors crystal jumpsuit (full price $6,990) talking during a movie. They might as well have had her on the phone for the real moviegoing experience. Anyways, yes, I’m still mad because nothing has changed, but now I have a positive version to watch, and that’s TikTok user @JoeyJames21’s cats:

@joeyjames21 The new @officialamctheatres spot is finally out!! #amctheaters #nicolekidmanamc #catsoftiktok #catlover #catstagram #catsvideo #wemakemoviesbetter ♬ original sound – Joey James

I wish I knew this cat’s name so I could nominate it for an acting award. The stare added a whole other layer of depth to the source material. Not only did @JoeyJames21 create this wonderful video, but they also built almost the whole set (except the chairs, which they bought online). This is one of many sets built with the felines in mind and is the pandemic movie content I love to see—at home, getting hyper-focused on creating elaborate crafts. This is movie magic, not that ad.

@joeyjames21 Building a movie theater for cats! #amc #amctheaters #cats #catsoftiktok #catstagram #catlover #catfluencer #catvideos #pussinboots #pussinbootsmovie #@AMC Theatres @Puss In Boots ♬ Bad Habit – Steve Lacy

(featured image: AMC)

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Author
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.