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CinemaxX Posts 2011 First Half Downturn; Lack of Big Draws Blamed

German multiplex group sells nearly 1 million fewer tickets in first six months of 2011.

COLOGNE, Germany - Ticket sales at German multiplex group CinemaxX dropped sharply in the first half of 2011, will just 7.4 million sold, compared to 8.3 million over the same period last year.

Revenue subsequently dipped to $135 million (€94.1 million) from about $145 million in H1 2010.

The company blamed the dip on the lack of a big blockbuster title in the first half of this year. Last year, in the same time frame, James Cameron's Avatar was riding high keeping admissions buoyant.

But CinemaxX was hopeful for a bounce back in the second half, with a series of major releases, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes driving attendence figures.

A one-off $10.5 million tax refund helped CinemaxX make up for the revenue drop and sweetened the company's bottom line. Net profits for the half climbed to $13.7 million (€9.5 million) from around $7.5 million a year earlier.