It translated to a drop in earnings per share from
Carmike President and Chief Executive Officer
Admission and concession revenue both increased year over year, "fueled by our recent acquisitions," the CEO said. The company has a goal of operating at least 300 theaters with 3,000 screens. At the end of June, it was at 253 theaters with 2,670 screens in 37 states.
That doesn't include Carmike's pending all-stock purchase of
"With this transaction our footprint will reach about 280 theaters with over 2,900 screens," Passman said during a conference call with analysts, pointing out the firm has more than
Thus, he said, expect
That, the CEO said, "could propel us well beyond 300 locations and 3,000 screens. The top priority, of course, will be to generate the best (return on investment) for the benefit of our shareholders."
To that end, Passman said Carmike outperformed the U.S. movie theater industry at the box office, with the overal sector's admissions revenue -- money from people buying movie tickets -- declining nearly 7 percent on average during the quarter.
On the other hand, Carmike's admissions revenue rose by 7 percent, while total attendance at its theaters was up 4 percent. Per screen, the firm's box-office revenue was down less than 1 percent, still much better than the industry average, the CEO said.
"As I've said in the past, while the film slate will vary from quarter to quarter, our expanded scale and companywide emphasis on customer-service excellence, combined with our growing circuit of high quality theaters, remain important factors in our ability to generate favorable operating results over the long term," Passman said on the conference call.
He acknowledged the second-quarter comparison from a year ago was "challenging" with "Iron Man 3" launching in May on the way to a very strong summer season for movie theater operators.
"There were a number of bright spots, though," he said of the this year's April-June film releases. "The top five grossing (second quarter) titles were all released in April or May, helping the quarter to a solid start."
Those hits included "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "X-Men: Days of Future Past," "Maleficent" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Also performing well was "Godzilla" with a U.S. gross take of just under
As for the rest of 2014, the CEO said "Guardians of the Galaxy" had an extremely strong opening last weekend, racking up more than
"We remain optimistic about the upcoming holiday season as well," Passman said.
The November movie lineup includes "The Penguins of
Coming in December are "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," and "Exodus: Gods and Kings."
On the financial side, the company reported that it charged movie-goers more in the quarter for tickets and concessions (refreshments that include soft drinks, popcorn and candy). Average admission per patron rose from
Total attendance for the chain was up from 14.9 million to nearly 15.6 million, with movie theater acquisitions over the last couple of years adding to that growth.
Aside from buying out other companies, Passman said Carmike will continue to open and remodel its own theaters, while also adding amenities to draw more customers into its entertainment complexes.
"We are currently focused on expanding in-theater casual dining at several select locations, as well as increasing the number of theaters with alcohol service," he said.
The purchase of Digiplex also will give Carmike "unique expertise" in alternative programming such as sporting events, concerts, and special artistic performances such as operas and ballets, the CEO said. That is an area the company, with its digital projection capability, has long wanted to see grow, although it hasn't worked well thus far. Up to 5 percent of Digiplex box-office receipts come from alternative programming.
"While obviously in the early stages, we are setting goals to spread the Digiplex alternative programming model across the Carmike footprint over the next couple of years," Passman said.
Carmike released its quarterly report after the stock markets' close Monday. It finished the day up
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