Cinemaxx ticket sales drop 7.5%

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COLOGNE, Germany -- As it goes with German multiplex group CinemaxX, so it goes with the German theatrical market. If that's the case, then CinemaxX first-half figures, released Friday, reflect a continuing struggle for Germany's exhibitors.

Ticket sales at CinemaxX, Germany's No. 1 multiplex operator with 34 theaters and 295 screens, fell 7.5% in the first six months of this year to 8.2 million tickets sold.

Total revenue was down only slightly, from €76.4 million to €74.4 million ($100 million) in the first half. The Hamburg-based group booked a net loss of €4 million ($5.4 million) over the period, compared with a €3.3 million loss in the first half of 2006.

CinemaxX blamed the drop on the lack of blockbuster titles in the first quarter as well as the unseasonably warm spring weather, which drew German film fans outside and away from movie theaters.

But the company is optimistic for the remainder of the year. The summer, traditionally a weak boxoffice period in Germany, has been particularly strong, helped by the performance of "The Simpsons," "Transformers" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

For the full year, CinemaxX is holding to its forecast of a 2%-4% increase in both ticket sales and overall revenue.
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