This week’s Marquee editorial comes to you from both our editor, Patrick von Sychowski, and myself.
Looking at the earnings announcements made by some of the leading companies in the exhibition industry over the past two weeks one could easily grow increasingly pessimistic seeing all the red ink. Indeed, while not solidly in the black, the ink is far less red than it was this time last year. Let’s call it burgundy… or maroon.
That’s because what these recent earnings illustrate is that the market is recovering, despite the quarterly losses. AMC Theatres, which operates cinemas on three continents narrowed its from USD $567 million in the first quarter of 2021 to USD $337.4 million last quarter. Thanks to revenue of USD $785.7 million, the world’s top exhibition chain lowered its EBITDA loss to USD $61 million. AMC thus managed to beat analyst expectations.
Cinemark, North America’s third largest exhibitor, which also operates theatres throughout Latin America, also started 2022 off more positively, or at least less negatively. Sure, the theatre chain lost USD $74 million in the first quarter of the year, but that was USD $134 million better than they did during the same period one year earlier. That is likely due to a 303% increase in revenue from USD $235.8 million in admissions and USD $173.0 million in concession sales.
Meanwhile in India, the largest cinema chain PVR saw quarterly revenue of USD $71.58 million, up from USD $24.68 million for the same time last year. Yes, it is still losing money, but “only” USD $2.29 million, which is a heck of a lot less than the USD $15.28 a year ago. Instead PVR wanted to talk about how average ticket prices were the highest they’ve ever been, that spend-per-head is up and the company’s merger with INOX is set for completion by the end of this year. Everything’s coming up lotuses!
Losses at IMAX are also headed in the right direction, a year-over-year decrease to USD $13.6 million last quarter. Thanks to superhero blockbusters released during the first three months of 2022, like “The Batman,” global box office improved to USD $173.2 million for the premium large format leader increasing revenue by 55% to USD $60 million during the time frame.
Meanwhile the top brass at Cineworld is breathing easier, after obtaining undertakings to waive from bondholders that were due in 2025, relating to the dissenting shareholders of Regal. Yet despite, or perhaps because of all the maroon ink across the latest results, the share price of many cinema businesses are stubbornly low. Shares in AMC Theatres are down 78% since their meme peak in July 2021. They have lost 49% this year. (That’s a lot of unhappy apes.) Cineworld shares are not doing well either, languishing at GBP £26, whereas six months ago they were soaring at GBP £67. The only one doing well on this front is PVR, whose share price is up 32% so far this year.
In fact, Wall Street turning against cinema operators just as the industry realizes some normalcy is a development that both the tech companies running streaming services and exhibitors can commiserate over.
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Celluloid Junkie is the leading online resource dedicated to the global film and cinema business. The Marquee is our newsletter focused on motion picture exhibition; keeping industry professionals informed of important news, the latest trends and insightful analysis