3D drives Kinepolis earnings surge

Euro exhib profits up 83.5% to $14.7 million

BRUSSELS — Euro exhib Kinepolis saw revenue rise to E112.9 million ($143.3 million) in the first half of 2010, up 12% on the same period last year.

Net profits rose 83.5% to $14.7 million.

Box office revenue was a significant driver, rising 15.3% to $88.6 million. Visitors to its theaters in Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland increased by 4.8%.

Announcing the results Thursday, Kinepolis called the period a breakthrough for 3D cinema, with “Avatar” a particularly strong draw.

“Alice in Wonderland” and “Clash of the Titans” also played well for the company in 3D, along with flat flicks “Shutter Island” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

First quarter visitor numbers were up 12% on the previous year. But the trend reversed in the second quarter, dropping 4.3% compared with the same period in 2009.

Kinepolis blames the World Cup for distracting the public and prompting film companies to delay major releases.

Spain’s triumph in the tourney had a significant local impact, while in Northern Europe hot weather amplified the stay-away effect.

Besides B.O., all other revenue streams performed well for the company, apart from screen advertising, which “continued to stagnate.”

Belgian distribution arm Kinepolis Film Distribution also thrived, with revenue up 27.9% to $1.8 million.

Growth was driven by Flemish thriller “Dossier K,” and kid pix “Anubis and the Revenge of Argus” and “Vicky the Viking.” U.S. properties “Edge of Darkness” and “Kick-Ass” also did well.

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