AMC Entertainment reports Q1 loss due to weak box office

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LOS ANGELES, May 9 (Xinhua) -- AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., the world's largest movie theater chain owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, reported Thursday a net loss of 130.2 million U.S. dollars on revenues of 1.2 billion dollars for the first quarter of the year.

According to a press release by AMC, the first-quarter total revenues of the company were 1.2 billion dollars, declining 13.2 percent from the year-ago quarter.

The company said that its total revenues were lower in all categories, primarily driven by global industry-wide softness in the first quarter tied to the timing of the 2019 film slate, compared with a strong first quarter in 2018.

These factors contributed to a 12.2 percent decrease in total attendance year-over-year, which was partially offset by AMC's outperformance versus the U.S. industry box office, according to the statement.

"In the first quarter of 2019, the U.S. industry box office declined 16.2 percent to 2.4 billion dollars on a 14.8 percent decline in attendance. AMC outperformed the U.S. industry on attendance per screen by approximately 570 basis points, and after excluding AMC from the U.S. industry statistics, AMC outperformed the industry by more than 700 basis points," AMC noted in the statement.

The decline, it said, was caused by the back-end loaded timing of the 2019 film slate, weaker hold-over films from the fourth quarter of 2018, and the tough comparison to last year's "Black Panther," which is the third-highest domestic grossing film ever.

The theatrical exhibition giant also pointed out that the 4.8 percent decline in total average ticket price reflects the deliberate implementation of its A-List program and other promotional pricing initiatives, as well as declines in IMAX and 3D volumes primarily related to the mix of films during the period.

Total food and beverage revenue per patron grew 3.6 percent as the company continued to implement its strategic pricing actions and premium food and beverage initiatives, it said.

"Even with the anticipated slow start to the year, we have been and continue to be quite bullish about the full year prospects for AMC," said Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC.

"Looking ahead, we remain enthusiastic about our progress against our strategy and medium to long-term financial targets as outlined during our recent Investor Day. This progress has already kicked off in a big way with 'Avengers: Endgame,' which shattered box office records both domestically and internationally," he said.

Disney and Marvel's mega-blockbuster "Avengers: Endgame" became the fastest film to cross the 2-billion-U.S.-dollar mark at the worldwide box office in history, doing so in only 12 days after it was released with a global total of 2.189 billion dollars.

"Accordingly, we continue to be excited about the remainder of 2019, which we believe might be the highest grossing 9-month period in cinema history. We are optimistic that the full year 2019 box office will be at least as strong as 2018, and potentially could be the first year ever that the domestic box office breaks 12 billion dollars," Aron added.

Founded in 1920, AMC is now the largest movie exhibition company in the United States, the largest in Europe and the largest throughout the world with approximately 1,000 theaters and 11,000 screens across the globe. Enditem

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