Carmike rings up profitable Q2

Firm operates 247 theaters in 35 states

Carmike Cinemas bounced back into the black in the second quarter, thanks in part to premium ticket prices on 3D admissions.

The Columbus, Ga.-based circuit Monday posted a $2.8 million quarterly profit that compared with $2.2 million in red ink for the same period last year.

Second-quarter revenue climbed 13% to $133.1 million.

"We benefited from a very strong film slate, including two high-profile 3D motion pictures -- 'Monsters vs. Aliens,' which was released at the end of the first quarter by DreamWorks Animation, and Disney/Pixar's 'Up,' " Carmike chief David Passman said.

Average admission charges rose almost 6% to $6.50 in the quarter, while average concession sales fell 2% to $3.23.

Carmike CFO Richard Hare said the circuit "once again achieved a significant reduction in total general and administrative expenses," lopping costs by more than 18% in the latest quarter.

No. 1 U.S. exhibitor Regal Cinema last week said its profit rose 67% to $40.5 million in the second quarter. But the Knoxville, Tenn.-based circuit missed analysts' forecasts because of unexpectedly high operating costs and expenses for closing underperforming theaters.

Carmike operates 247 theaters with 2,285 screens in smaller and mid-sized markets in 35 states, including 499 3D auditoriums. Execs predicted a strong close to this boxoffice year.

"The second half of 2009 looks promising, as several widely anticipated 3D movies will be released that we believe should play well on Carmike's leading digital-3D theater platform," Passman said.

Carmike has two theaters under construction, but execs said they don't expect to acquire any other properties this year and haven't bid on theaters being auctioned by National Amusements.