Hit pix bolster Cinemark revs

Exhib reports nearly 21% increase

Dallas-based exhibitor Cinemark USA reported nearly a 21% increase in revenues and a 40% jump in net income for the first quarter of this year.

Cinemark CEO Lee Roy Mitchell attributed the strong showing to the success of such holiday blockbusters as “Titanic,” “As Good as It Gets” and “Good Will Hunting.”

Revenues for the three-month period ending March 31, were $124.2 million, compared to $103 million for the same period a year earlier. Net income was $7.1 million as opposed to last year’s $5.1 million.

Operating income before non-cash expenditures increased 20.9% to $28.2 million for the first quarter of 1998 versus $22.5 million for the first quarter of 1997.

“Going into the year, we believed it would be difficult to improve upon the record first-quarter 1997 results, which were driven by the ‘Star Wars’ trilogy and ‘Liar Liar,” said Mitchell. “However, strong holiday released film product … contributed to record results for the first quarter of 1998.”

Cinemark has already added 145 screens and plans to bring another 436 on line by year’s end. Mitchell predicted that the new screens plus a promising summer lineup would lead the 1,900-screen circuit to a record year.