AMC Theater Chain Beats Earnings Expectations Despite Lackluster Box Office

AP Images

The nation's No. 2 movie exhibitor, though, fell short of revenue predictions.

Movie exhibitor AMC Entertainment reported shrinking quarterly earnings Wednesday amid a weak season at the box office. But the theater chain still beat Wall Street analysts' expectations.

Net income was nearly halved to $31.4 million in the second quarter compared to the same frame last year. On a per-share basis, AMC reported 32 cents, beating the projection of analysts by 3 cents.

Revenue was $726.6 million, down 5 percent year-over-year and falling short of predictions, which were for $731 million.

AMC operates the nation's second-largest chain of movie theaters and is largely controlled by China's Dalian Wanda Group. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, where its stock price fell fractionally to $22.51 on Wednesday and shares did not trade during the after-hours session.

AMC said the average ticket price increased slightly to $9.55 during the quarter, but admissions revenue fell to $478.7 million from $515.3 million a year earlier. 

The average person spent $4.22 at concession stands during the quarter, up 4.5 percent from a year ago, AMC reported.

In the company's earnings release, CEO Gerry Lopez raved about AMC's new open-source ticketing platform.

"After rolling out our own ticketing engine in April, tickets to an AMC theater are now both easier to get and available in more places on the Web than any of our competitors," he said. "So far, we've seen a 45 percent increase in online ticket revenues this year and have sold approximately 13 million online tickets this year."