Cineplex Profits, Admissions Slide on Weak Summer Box Office

Guardians of the Galaxy Still 3 - H 2014

Profits at the Canadian chain fell short of analyst expectations

This summer's weak box office depressed third-quarter earnings at Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex.

The cinema chain posted a profit of CAN$15.9 million (US$14 million), down 39 percent from earnings of CAN$26 million (US$23 million) in 2013. Per-share earnings were CAN$0.25 (US$0.22), down from an analyst estimate of CAN$0.39 (US$0.34).

Overall revenue was virtually unchanged at CAN$299 million (US$264.5 million), as higher concession sales offset the impact of lower box-office grosses and admissions. Cineplex had 18 million patrons during the latest quarter, down 5 percent from the 19 million customers it had during the same period last year.

Read more Box Office: Summer's Winners and Losers

Cineplex had good returns from Guardians of the Galaxy and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but too many summer box-office duds pushed box-office revenues down CAN$5.5 million (US$4.8 million), or 3.3 percent, to CAN$162.6 million (US$144 million) during the latest quarter.

"The softer box office was due to a combination of a weaker film slate and a tough comparison to last year's record summer films," Cineplex president and CEO Ellis Jacob said in a statement Thursday, as he cited year-earlier box-office hits like Despicable Me 2, The Wolverine and We're the Millers.