Cinemark CEO Says 2019 Domestic Box Office Could Cross $12 Billion

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Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi

"We think that the year we're experiencing now will be at that level, and potentially even better" than the current $11.85 billion record for 2018, Mark Zoradi said Monday.

A bullish Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi on Monday predicted Hollywood box office could set another domestic record in 2019, after North American revenue reached a record $11.85 billion in ticket sales last year.

"We think that the year we're experiencing now will be at that level, and potentially even better. I'm hopeful we'll see a '12' in front of it," the exec said of North American box office this year breaking through the $12 billion mark. Zoradi was addressing the 2019 Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Florida, during a session that was webcast.

The CEO said the rest of 2019 could outperform last year, having been helped by Marvel Studios and Disney's Captain Marvel, which debuted over the weekend with $455 million in worldwide ticket sales, including $153 million in North America. "That movie not only delivered what we thought it would, but an extra 20 percent on top of it," Zoradi said of the Brie Larson-led superhero pic.

For the rest of the year, the Cinemark boss pointed to the upcoming releases of Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King and J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode 9 as movies that each had the potential to be the biggest box office performers of the year.

Zoradi said Disney's Black Panther last year provided a tough comparison for the first quarter of 2019, until this past weekend's North American launch for Captain Marvel.

"As we get into the second, third and fourth quarters, we'll be able to make that up and hopefully get to that '12' number," he told investors.