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AMC Earnings Top Estimates Thanks to Summer Box Office Hits

A sizzling summer box office boosted earnings at AMC Entertainment during the second quarter of 2018, helping the world’s largest theater chain to achieve record admissions and food and beverage revenues.

Total revenues for the three-month period ending in June rose 20% to $1.44 billion, up from $1.20 billion in the prior-year period. Diluted earnings per share increased to 17 cents compared to a net loss of $1.35 per share for the same period a year ago. That beat Wall Street’s forecast. Analysts had predicted earnings per share of 8 cents and revenues of $1.43 billion.

More people came to AMC’s theaters thanks to hit films such as “Incredibles 2” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” Admissions revenues increased 17.7% to $896.3 million compared to $761.4 million in the year-ago period. People also shelled out for popcorn and soda when they caught summer blockbusters. Food and beverage revenues increased 19.2% to $445.8 million, compared to $374.1 million for the three months ending in June of 2017.

AMC isn’t the only exhibitor expected to benefit from increased movie-going. The US box office hit a record $3.3 billion in the second quarter of 2018, a vast improvement over dismal summer ticket sales from 2017.

Earnings before income taxes increased $305.7 million to $19.6 million, compared to a loss of $286.1 million for the same quarter a year ago. That loss had been attributed to an investment in National CineMedia, a theater chain advertising company.

In anticipation of the call, AMC announced on Tuesday that its subscription service A-List has attracted 181,790 paying members in its first five weeks. The service is seen by the industry as a potential MoviePass-killer. It offers customers the chance to see three films a week in Imax and 3D for a slightly higher price. The service has also benefitted from MoviePass’s recent financial woes.

The solid financial results goosed AMC’s stock price. Shares were up 2.15% at $16.65 in pre-market trading.

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