Canadian Theater Chain Cineplex Reports Record Third-Quarter Attendance

Universal Pictures
"Despicable Me 2"

19 million people saw hits like "Despicable Me 2" and "The Wolverine" over the three months ending Sept. 30.

TORONTO -- Canadian movie theater giant Cineplex reported record revenue and attendance for the third quarter.

On Tuesday Cineplex reported revenue of $298 million and overall attendance of 19 million for the three months ending September 30.

The previous attendance record was reached in the third quarter of 2010 when 18.8 million paid patrons visited the chain.

Cineplex's third-quarter earnings were down nearly 50 percent to $26 million, compared to a profit of $51.7 million in 2012 when a one-time item associated with the acquisition of AMC Ventures added 38 cents per share.

At the same time, Cineplex continued to post higher box office grosses from its theaters compared to U.S. chains after investing in 3D, UltraAVX, Imax and VIP theaters to snag premium ticket prices.

Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday that his chain's 3D penetration is typically in the mid-50 percentile, compared to U.S. exhibitors' 20 percent range.

Jacob added that Cineplex has kept its $3 premium on each ticket constant for a number of years, compared to other markets where the mark-up has varied.

"We also use the best showtimes for the 3D films, and we make it a real experience and people appreciate what they are getting," he insisted.

Premium priced ticketing accounted for 37 percent of box office revenue during the latest financial quarter due to increased installations of UltraAVX, 3D, Imax and VIP screens, against 31.4 percent in the the third quarter of 2012.

The average ticket price was flat year-on-year because top-performing titles Despicable Me 2 and We're The Millers had proportionally higher kids tickets sold as family fare.

The third quarter of 2012 for Cineplex was dominated by The Dark Knight Rises.