• AT&T Time Warner Merger Could Kill the Skinny Bundle
    Skinny bundle, we hardly knew ya: AT&T’s plan to acquire Time Warner will likely spoil efforts to sell consumers smaller and cheaper TV subscriptions. Some consumers have long advocated for the ability to buy TV channels a la carte, or at least get more flexibility to not pay for some of the networks they don’t watch.... Read more »
  • ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Steven Yeun Says Season Premiere is ‘Bittersweet’
    The identity of Negan’s victim on “The Walking Dead” is one of the most closely guarded secrets in television, and after seven years on the show, Steven Yeun — aka Glenn — has trained himself to not spill the beans. Variety caught up with the Korean-American actor at the Coalition for Asian Pacific Islanders in Entertainment... Read more »
  • Early ‘Doctor Strange’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying
    The reviews are officially in, answering the question: Can Marvel score another critical smash with “Doctor Strange”? The early answer looks like yes. While some journalists shared their opinions on Twitter after a few U.S. screenings, full reviews for Marvel’s latest dropped at midnight on Sunday, and they were largely positive. The film holds a... Read more »
  • Box Office: ‘Madea Halloween’ Edges Out ‘Jack Reacher 2’ With $27.6 Million
    It was a battle of the sequels at the multiplexes this weekend, as “Boo! A Madea Halloween” narrowly edged out “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” to claim first place at the domestic box office. The latest film in the long-running Madea series racked up $27.6 million. Comedian Chris Rock may be entitled to a percentage... Read more »
  • Oprah Winfrey & Ava DuVernay: A TV Dream Team Talks ‘Queen Sugar’
    The WGA Foundation screening of “Queen Sugar” attracted a packed house at Arclight Cinemas Hollywood as Oprah Winfrey moderated the panel given her close bond with executive producer/director Ava DuVernay. The biggest takeaway of the afternoon was the sincere and heartfelt support Winfrey, DuVernay and author Natalie Baszile have for each other as the show moves... Read more »
Home Movie Biz News

Regal profit falls; box office receipts lag

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Regal Entertainment Group, the No. 1 U.S. movie theater operator, posted a lower quarterly profit and said its box office receipts failed to match up to the brisk pace of the industry.

Shares of Regal fell 4.7 percent on Thursday, after it said box office receipts per screen were flat year-over-year in its fiscal first quarter, which ran from January 2 to April 2, while industry-wide box office receipts rose about 1.5 to 2 percent per screen over the same period.

"Investors look really close at how Regal performs versus the industry and were slightly disappointed they underperformed," said Barton Crockett, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets, who nevertheless said he was encouraged by a strong summer line-up for the box office and the company's expectations it will command higher 3-D ticket premiums.

Regal said net income fell to $21.3 million, or 14 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter that ended April 2, from $27.5 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, profit was 14 cents a share, below analysts' average forecast of 16 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Regal blamed some of the lag on the timing of its fiscal quarter and the loss of some high-volume holidays such as New Year's Day. U.S. box office receipts rose 9.5 percent in the calendar first quarter, Regal said.

On a conference call, Regal CEO Michael Campbell said 3-D films like "Monsters vs. Aliens" had commanded premiums of $3.50 to $4.00 on tickets, but that he expected those premiums to increase with more 3-D releases, eventually hitting $5.

He also said Regal and other theater chains were working on completing a financing agreement with major studios so that more screens can be upgraded digitally to accommodate a big upcoming slate of 3-D films.

Campbell said Regal was monitoring the swine flu situation but that it had not had any impact on attendance.

"We have pre-established plans and procedures in place to make sure facilities are safe for staff and guests," he said.

Regal said it was looking ahead to an action-packed summer film slate featuring both proven franchise films and big-budget original films.

Regal's shares were down 63 cents or 4.7 percent at $12.72 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon.

(Reporting by Sue Zeidler and Tiffany Wu, editing by Dave Zimmerman and Matthew Lewis)


Top 250 films of 2008
weekly box office 4-10/4-16
What thieves want from Hollywood
Ebert reviews "State of Play"

attraction attraction