Cinemark Second-Quarter Financials Rise

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Movie theater operator Cinemark Holdings on Monday reported second-quarter financials that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Its CEO on an earnings conference call discussed the impact of the London 2012 Summer Olympics on the box office, studios' reduced interest in premium VOD releases and possible ways for exhibitors to help studios promote digital downloads.

The company, which owns the Aurora, Colo. theater that last month saw a shooting that killed 12 people during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, said overall profit declined slightly, but its profit attributable to Cinemark amounted to $51.6 million, up 28 percent from $40.4 million in the year-ago period. Operating profit of $113.9 million was up from $97.0 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose to $649.6 million from $620.6 million in the year-ago period. Admission revenue increased from $405.9 million to $418.1 million as concession revenue was up from $189.4 million to $201.4 million.

Asked about the current box office trend, CEO Tim Warner said "the Olympics definitely are impacting it."

He also told analysts that film studios "would ideally move" from DVDs to digital downloads. "I can see those services and the studios' attempt to go [more aggressively and directly] to the end consumer expanding," he said, but exhibitors "could definitely have a role" here. "We can be helpful to them with our customer base" to help drive consumers to digital downloads, he suggested.

Asked why the debate about studios' premium VOD trials seemes to have died down, Warner said that studios have gained traction with downloads and have seen a certain stabilization in the home entertainment revenue space. Plus, both studios and exhibitors realize that the theatrical window is still number one in terms of financial drivers. "They realize that, we realize that," Warner said. "I think there is a common goal in protecting that window."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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