Carmike profits get small boost

Total box office is up 8%

Citing tough year-on-year film comps, Carmike Cinemas eked out a $200,000 profit last quarter vs. $3.1 million the year before, but the exhib said its total box office is up 8% for the first nine months of the year.

Revenue dipped to $127 million from $133 million.

“We think the year to date numbers bode well for both Carmike and the industry at large,” said CEO David Passman.

Wall Street wasn’t impressed, pushing the shares down by more than 2% in an upbeat market buoyed by new jobs and consumer confidence numbers.

Carmike’s biggest move was the acquisition of 16 theaters with 251 screens from privately owned Rave Reviews Cinemas. That deal, which will close by year’s end, and the much larger acquisition by Wanda of AMC herald a wave of anticipated consolidation in the exhibition biz.

Passman called the deal “a significant step for Carmike strategically and operationally, bringing us closer to our goal of expanding our footprint to 300 theaters and 3,000 screens.”

Carmike said total attendance fell to 12.5 million from 13.3 million. Average admissions were up slightly, and average concession sales rose 6.7%.

At the end of September, Carmike had 232 theaters with 2,242 screens in 35 states.