What a difference a year makes for Cinemark.
Far from last year’s efforts to cut losses for the theater chain amid a deep box office slump, the 2023 third quarter saw a 35% surge in revenue year over year to $874.8 million, thanks in large part to Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” and Universal’s “Oppenheimer.”
The revenue results, which the company labeled a record for the summer quarter, powered past consensus projections for $839 million, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Plano, Texas-based Cinemark posted net income of $90.2 million, or 61 cents per share, beating analyst projections for 42 cents per share and soundly reversing the loss of 20 cents per share in Q3 2022.
The results sent Cinemark shares up 2.4% in premarket trading. The stock closed Thursday at $16.85, doubling since the start of the year.
Admissions represented $443.8 million of the quarter’s revenue, up 37% from the $324.6 million in the 2022 quarter and reflecting a 7% gain in average ticket price versus last year, to $7.17.
That reflected 62 million global moviegoers, 37.5 million in U.S. theaters spread across 42 U.S. states, and 24.4 million before screens in 13 countries in South and Central America. At the end of the quarter, Cinemark operated 507 theaters with 5,765 screens overall, under its own name along with the Century, Tinseltown and Rave marquees. It’s the third-largest movie theater chain in the U.S.
Domestically, admissions revenue shot up 36% to $350.4 million as attendance rose 27% to 37.5 million. In its international theaters, admissions revenue soared 37% to $192.3 million.
Cinemark said July was its biggest domestic box office month of all time.
Concessions rose 34% to $339.6 million, up from the $253.6 million in Q3 2022. In the U.S., concession revenue gained 33% to $268 million, reflecting a 5% increase in concession revenue per patron to $7.15. International concessions jumped 36% to $71.8 million, as per-patron revenue rose 5% to $2.94.
Propelled by the immense success of Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” the box office in the U.S. and Canada saw its Q3 totals rise to $2.64 billion, up 37% from the previous year and just 6% down from the $2.81 billion grossed in 2019. “Barbie” provided $632.6 million to the quarterly total, “Oppenheimer” brought $322.3 million.
Theaters also got some unexpected help from Angel Studios’ historic indie hit “Sound of Freedom,” which contributed $183.9 million to domestic totals and topped major studio titles such as “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning” ($172.1 million) and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” ($150 million).
“The third quarter epitomized the positive appeal and impact of a diverse slate of films,” Cinemark CEO Sean Gamble said during the conference call to discuss results. “We have now witnessed a steady stream of record-setting results quarter after quarter, across all genres of films for more than two years, that demonstrate consumer enthusiasm for shared, larger-than-life cinematic experiences remains strong and vibrant.”
“As we examine box office results and consumer movie going trends over the past two plus years, we remain highly encouraged about what they suggest for the future of theatrical exhibition,” he continued.