Movie exhibition continues its upbeat perf as Regal Entertainment Group announced strong third-quarter earnings on Thursday.

A strong slate of films and operational efficiencies helped total revenue for the period ended Sept. 27 reach $752.9 million, up 11% from $675.7 million a year earlier. Net income of $58 million nearly doubled the $29.3 million recorded in the third quarter of 2006.

Key to the strong run was a record-setting summer, highlighted by long-playing titles such as “Transformers” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

Shareholders cheered the earnings but perhaps took the currently faltering B.O. into consideration, pushing shares up 1.5% to $21.45 on average volume.

In a conference call with analysts, CEO Mike Campbell professed optimism about the films coming out through the end of the year. He also said possible Hollywood strikes are not likely to harm exhibs, which have enjoyed fairly bullish times of late.

Regal’s board also approved a cash dividend of 30¢ per Class A and Class B common share, payable on Dec. 20 for stockholders of record as of Dec. 12.