AMC Entertainment Exec Is Bullish Over 2016 Box Office Prospects

AMC Entertainment CFO Craig Ramsey

"Could it be as strong as 2015? Yeah, it could be," CFO Craig Ramsey told market analysts when asked to predict business at the multiplex this year.

Box office revenue for Hollywood hit an all-time high in 2015, but AMC Entertainment CFO Craig Ramsey is bullish about business prospects this year at the local multiplex.

"Could it be as strong as 2015? Yeah, it could be," Ramsey said when asked to predict business fortunes for AMC and other major exhibitors this year. The exec spoke Wednesday at the Citi 2016 Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.

Ramsey added that exhibitors were unlikely to see many $600 million movies in 2016 from upcoming prospects like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. But the AMC exec said the 2016 box office could benefit from unexpected hits as more smaller movie titles had more times at bat this year.

And exhibitors could also grow their business from release dates for movies that the studios moved from 2015 to 2016. Ramsey also predicted more deal-making activity in the U.S. exhibition sector in 2016 after record box office this past year.

"We think there's more opportunity. There are circuits out there that had a good year in 2015, they are probably equity and family owned," he told analysts in Vegas. "In these situations ... we ought to see more opportunities like that," Ramsey added, citing AMC Entertainment recently acquiring rival Starplex Cinemas for $172 million.