Hollywood Movies Lift Cineplex to Record Q3 Results

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Warner Bros.

The latest films from the "Harry Potter" and "Transformer" franchises accounted for 25 percent of third quarter box office for the Canadian exhibition giant.

TORONTO - Thanks to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex on Thursday posted its best-ever quarterly revenue and earnings.

The Toronto-based chain, which operates 1,351 screens nationwide, posted a third-quarter profit of $25.7 million, up 28 percent from earnings of $20.1 million in 2010.

Overall revenue rose 3 percent to $276.7 million, against a year-earlier $268.3 million.

Box office revenue rose 3.3 percent to a record $162.5 million for the three months to September 30, while concession revenue was up 2.8 percent to $82.1 million, another quarterly record.

The big driver was the latest installment from the Harry Potter franchise, which accounted for 14.8% of box office revenue, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which generated another 9.6 percent of overall ticket receipts.

While theater attendance at Cineplex venues was down 1.6 percent during the third quarter to 18.54 million patrons, the exhibitor lifted its box office revenue per-patron by 5 percent to $8.77.

And Cineplex gained from premium ticket prices paid for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which screened in both 3D and the Imax format.

Cineplex also continued its digital projector roll out, installing 188 digital projectors during the latest quarter.

The Canadian chain has now converted half of its screens to digital projection and intends to complete the switch-over during 2012.