Carmike reports $3.5 million loss

Exhibitor recorded higher rental costs for blockbuster, 3D fare

NEW YORK -- Carmike Cinemas narrowed its first-quarter loss slightly even though bad weather and tough year-ago comparisons kept it from posting a significant revenue jump, and the exhibitor also recorded higher film rental costs for blockbuster and 3D fare.

The theater circuit operator on Monday reported a quarterly loss of $3.5 million, compared with a $3.9 million loss in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 2% from $121.8 million to $124.2 million.

"The 2010 first quarter was hampered by severe weather conditions as well as higher film rental costs on blockbuster and 3D films as compared to our 2009 first quarter which had mild weather and high-performing movies with lower film costs," said Carmike president and CEO David Passman. "As a result, our first quarter went from what otherwise was a strong quarter to a respectable quarter."

Carmike operated fewer screens in the first quarter than in the year-ago period, and average attendance per screen was down from 5,579 to 5,296.

But patrons spent $10.34 on average per visit, up 8%, driven by a 9.4% average concessions and other revenue improvement to $3.49 and an average admissions gain of 7.4% to $6.85. Driving the latter were 3D premiums of $2.50 and higher, according to the firm.