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Nov 7, 2017

Cineplex CEO hopes for 'great' fourth quarter as holiday season begins

Cineplex sales, profit down as fewer people go to the movies

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Cineplex Inc. saw its third-quarter profit and revenue slip lower compared with a year ago as fewer people went to the movies –  but the company’s CEO says he expects more moviegoers to make their way to theatres in the coming months.

“[The third quarter] was about really the month of August…it’s just a matter of where the movies fall in in the quarters. And one has to look at a longer period of time, not just the individual quarters,” said Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob in an interview with BNN Tuesday, noting hopes are high for the holiday season with upcoming films like "Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi".

“We look to have a great fourth quarter.”

The movie theatre company says it earned $17.2 million or 27 cents per diluted share for the third quarter that ended Sept. 30 compared with a profit of $26.0 million or 41 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $370.4 million, down from $376 million.

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Jacob noted the early success of the company’s diversification efforts, like the rec rooms, which he says are “just starting to gain momentum.”  

“As these businesses that we’ve started start to mature, they will basically deliver stronger cash flow and a diversified bottom line instead of just being reliant on Hollywood,” he said.

Despite these diversification efforts, Cineplex says attendance fell to 16.8 million compared with 19.2 million in the same quarter last year.

However, while attendance was down, customers spent more.

The company says box office revenue per patron increased to $9.81 compared with $9.65 a year ago, while concession revenue per patron also increased to $6.01 compared with $5.69 last year.

Jacob said that while the movie business is changing and more people are opting to watching films in their own homes, the experience of seeing a movie in theatres still can’t be beat.

“You can’t replicate the experience of the theatre,” he said. “Where are you going to get a $200 million production for $10?”

- with files from BNN.ca