×

Cinema owners build better mousetrap

Concessions, ads, event programming boost admissions, profits

Movie theater admissions were up in 2012, but the long-term trend remains down. Even so, says Moody’s Investors Service, exhibitors are getting more money from each patron. And, says the credit rating agency, it’s not just due to higher ticket prices.

In fact, ticket prices have flatlined over the past two years. Rather, exhibs have been staying ahead because of concession sales; onscreen advertising; and event programming, such as live concerts and Metropolitan Opera performances, made possible by digital delivery and projection. Major exhibs also have been adept at controlling costs and running their theater circuits more efficiently.

Further consolidation is likely as the industry completes its shift to digital. At some point, Moody’s says, studios will ask exhibs who don’t make the transition to pay part of the extra cost for prints. That should force smaller exhibs to shut down or sell out to larger chains.

Popular on Variety

Such acquisitions should boost revenue and cash flow for the five movie theater operators whose debt Moody’s rates: AMC Entertainment, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark USA, NAI Entertainment Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group.

Since 2006, revenue per patron at those exhibs has risen 22.1% while cash flow per patron has grown 18.6%.

More Film

  • 'Chez Jolie Coiffure' Review: Hair Salon

    Film Review: 'Chez Jolie Coiffure'

    Shortly before the credits roll on “Chez Jolie Coiffure,” a customer in the eponymous hair salon asks her stylist, Sabine, if she has any plans to go home this year. Out of context, this sounds like the kind of standard, empty small talk one often makes while having one’s hair cut: what good movies you’ve [...]

  • Best Netflix original movies

    The 10 Best Netflix Movies of 2019

    This time last year, Netflix estimated that it would release 90 original movies in 2019. At the time, the number seemed outrageous: That’s more than four times the number Warner Bros. made in the same 12-month period — and more than any human would ever care to watch. Guess what: Turns out that 90 was a [...]

  • Luc Besson EuropaCorp Searching for Hit

    EuropaCorp Posts 50% Drop in Revenues in Half-Year Results

    Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has posted a 50% drop in revenues during the first half of the 2019-20 financial year even as the financially ailing company tries to finalize a rescue deal with its junior lender, Vine Alternative Investments. EuropaCorp’s revenues fell to €40.7 million ($45 million) during the six months ending Sept. 30. The company [...]

  • Richard Jewell Olivia Wilde

    'Richard Jewell': Kathy Scruggs' Roommate, Family Angered by Journalist's Portrayal

    Penny Furr was Kathy Scruggs’ roommate when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter got a major scoop involving the investigation into the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. Scruggs had discovered that Richard Jewell, the security guard who had evacuated the area before the bomb exploded, saving dozens of lives in the process, was a suspect in the attack. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content