Carmike Cinemas Reports Quarterly Loss in Tough Box Office Climate

A weaker slate of holiday films and an overall box office decline took a bit out of Carmike Cinemas’ fourth-quarter profits.

The country’s fourth-largest theater chain reported a net loss of $2.2 million for the three-month period ending in December, even as revenues climbed 7.9% from the year-ago period to $185.4 million.

For the full year, Carmike’s revenues rose 8.7% to $689.9 million and its loss climbed to $8.9 million. It was a year that saw the company increase its footprint through its $45 million acquisition of Digiplex, which added 21 theaters to its network and allowed Carmike to enter Arizona, Maryland, New Hampshire and Connecticut for the first time.

Despite the fact that Christmas and Thanksgiving releases like “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and “Big Hero 6” couldn’t match the firepower of such 2013 offerings as “Frozen” and the second “Hunger Games” film, Carmike said it was bullish on highly anticipated additions to the “Star Wars,” James Bond and “Avengers” franchises, all of which hit this year.

“We are enthusiastic about the film slate for the remainder of 2015, which contains a robust offering of highly anticipated tentpole sequels and exciting new titles,” said Carmike CEO David Passman.

Like many major exhibitors, Carmike has tried to enhance its concessions offerings and adding in-seat ordering at certain locations. That paid off in an increase to the amount of money ticket buyers shelled out on snacks and food during the fourth quarter, rising from an average of $4.29 to $4.57. Ticket prices also rose on average from $7.24 to $7.35 during the three-month period.

Shares of Carmike fell sharply in after-hours trading, dropping 6.25% to $30.01.

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