Cineplex Posts Record Second-Quarter Revenue Thanks to 'Avengers: Endgame'

Ellis Jacob speaks onstage at CinemaCon 2019 - Getty-H 2019
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The Marvel Studios and Disney film extravaganza provided nearly a third of the exhibitor's ticket sales during the latest quarter.

Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex, led by CEO Ellis Jacob, saw second-quarter earnings dip despite record quarterly revenues from the impressive box office returns of Avengers: Endgame.

Cineplex on Thursday posted second-quarter earnings of $19.4 million against a year-earlier profit of $24.4 million. Overall revenue rose 7.4 percent to a record $438.2 million. The biggest Hollywood performers for Cineplex during the latest quarter were led by the blockbuster Endgame, which accounted for 31.6 percent of its theatrical box office, followed by Aladdin and Pokemon Detective Pikachu.

Box office per patron hit a record $11.13 during the latest quarter, even as Cineplex saw theater attendance during the latest quarter fall 1.7 percent to 17 million patrons. That was offset on the revenue side by a higher percentage of its box office coming from premium price offerings as Canadians came out to see Endgame, as well as price increases imposed in select markets.

Cineplex also said theater attendance during the latest quarter fell in part as Canadians stayed home or went to sports bars to watch the Toronto Raptors' successful playoff run to capture the NBA championship.

The Canadian exhibitor leveraged excitement around the Raptors' title run by hosting game-viewing parties at 46 of its theaters nationwide.

Cineplex's Jacob told The Hollywood Reporter that Disney's soon-to-launch streaming service and Netflix competitor Disney+ won't greatly impact his own cinema chain and the wider exhibition industry.

"Disney has been a greater partner for exhibition and we've worked together to deliver huge numbers for the industry. And at the end of the day, yes, they will continue to deliver theatrical experiences and they will make content specifically for their streaming services, which will be different," Jacob argued.

Despite the box office bump during the latest quarter from Endgame, Cineplex in recent years has diversified into media, amusement and leisure businesses to reduce its reliance on the fluctuating Hollywood box office.

During the latest quarter, Cineplex saw its amusement revenue hit a record $48.4 million, with The Rec Room, its location-based entertainment offering, pulling in $20.9 million in sales, up 33 percent from last year.

And the company's Scene loyalty program is expected to cross the 10 million member milestone this weekend after hitting 9.9 million on June 30.

"We're utilizing our whole ecosystem and creating one Cineplex and giving guest choices and saying we want you to come to our Rec Rooms, to our theaters and to our Cineplex Store, so there's lot of choices," Jacob said of his diversification strategy.