Summer Olympics, Fewer 3D Releases Hit Cineworld's Financials

 Summit Entertainment

LONDON – The Olympics 2012 in the British capital this summer and a fall in the numbers of 3D theatrical releases caused business to drop off slightly for stock exchange listed exhibition chain Cineworld Group.

The U.K.’s second largest exhibitor posted a fall both in total revenues and admissions as people embraced the summer of sport during the 19 week trading period from June 29 through Nov. 8, 2012.

In an interim management statement for the market, the group said box office benefitted from a better average ticket price, up four percent, but was impacted by 4.1 percent lower admissions.

Spend per person increased by 4.3 percent compared with the corresponding 19 week period last year.

Cineworld that rise "reflects positively on our targeted promotional activities within a difficult economic environment."

But lower admissions volume offset increased spend per person in the 19 week period.

Decline in other income during the 19 week period was due to the removal of the booking fee and "comparatively lower 3D glasses sales, resulting from fewer 3D films shown in the period."

Screen advertising revenues were flat compared with the same period in the prior year.

"As expected, the third quarter was impacted by reduced admissions due to the London Olympics and the consequent lack of major releases during the period, meaning overall trading was significantly weaker than the previous year," Cineworld said.

But the box office record breaking performance of Skyfall, the Sam Mendes directed James Bond adventure is set to buoy fourth quarter figures after hitting theaters at the end of October.

The exhibitor also said the potential blockbuster performances expected from Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (part 2), set for release in the coming weeks and the end of the year hope for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from Dec. 14 in the U.K., should provide a boost to business.

"The film line up for the remainder of the fourth quarter is promising, with strong box office performances anticipated from the key titles," Cineworld told the market. "We therefore expect our results to be in line with current market expectations for the full year."

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