Movie Exhibitor Stocks Fall Amid Slumping Box Office
Looks like Wall Street is reacting to a weak holiday season at the box office, judging by how the movie-exhibition stocks fared Monday.
Regal Entertainment shares dropped 9 percent Monday to $12.11 and are off 14 percent since Dec. 1. Carmike Cinemas, meanwhile, dropped 5 percent on Monday, while Cinemark Holdings was off 3 percent.
The box office has been weak for several weeks, and the most recent weekend was considered the third dud in a row, with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked underperforming compared to their debuts. All-in-all, the weekend was down 14 percent compared to last year.
The one bright spot was Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which took in $14 million on 385 worldwide Imax screens ahead of its Dec. 21 nationwide opening. Imax stock, though, dipped 3 percent Monday to $19.66.
Year-to-date, the box office is off some 4 percent compared with 2010, and analysts and investors have been worried about the weakness since at least Thanksgiving. On Dec. 8, for example, Caris & Co. downgraded Carmike to a “below-average” rating. Since Thanksgiving, Carmike shares are down 6 percent.
While the major exhibitor stocks are off since Thanksgiving, Imax has fared well, up 12 percent despite Monday's weakness.