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Movie theater owner Cinemark Holdings reported total revenue of $610.8 million, up from $460.5 million in the prior year in the three months ended March 31.
Overall attendance increased 29.6 percent to 42.9 million patrons. This drove admissions revenue up 31.9 percent to $311.0 million and concession revenue up 36.3 percent to $235.8 million. The company reported a net loss of $3.1 million compared with a loss of $74.0 million in the prior year.
CEO Sean Gamble highlighted Avatar: The Way of Water, Creed III, Scream Six, John Wick: Chapter Four, Megan, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Cocaine Bear among the films driving results. He added that April was also a strong month at the box office, which helped lead the company on Monday to pay down a further $100 million on the incremental debt it secured during the pandemic.
The company has tried to be careful with its pricing as it recovers from the pandemic, but Gamble said in response to an analyst question that “there’s actually quite a bit of opportunity,” to not just increase prices, but also “finer” tune the pricing.
After attending CinemaCon last week, Gamble said he was pleased by the pipeline of content coming out over the next year and a half, highlighting clips he saw from Little Mermaid, Elemental and Barbie, among others. Gamble and others also watched the entirety of The Flash, of which he said: “I can tell you that studio commentary suggesting ‘The Flash’ is by far the best DC movie to date is very well justified.”
Overall, Gamble said the 2023 total volume of films is better than anticipated, as there have now been 110 wide releases dated, above their previous estimates of 100 to 105 for the full year. The number of films in the third and fourth quarter is still down about 15 to 20 percent from pre-pandemic, but that the gap has narrowed due to the release of films from Amazon, such as Air, and other studios.
“Based on indications we continue to receive from our traditional studio partners regarding their targeted levels of production, as well as Amazon’s expressed intention to ramp to 10 to 12 films per year, and Apple’s growing theatrical aspirations, we remain highly optimistic about film volume recovering close to or better than pre-pandemic levels over the next couple of years,” Gamble said.
Asked about whether the Writers Guild of America strike would have an impact on film production and the flow of content, Gamble noted that it would depend on the length of the strike, but that the majority of films this year and next are “unlikely to be materially affected.” He added that the 2007-2008 WGA strike, which lasted for 100 days, had “some impact” on the film industry, but that the disruption to content releases was “fairly limited.”
Cinemark had 5,833 screens as of March 31, 2023, and plans to open seven new theatres and 59 screens over the next two years.
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