Marcus Corp., which owns leading exhibitor Marcus Theatres and a chain of hotels, said it posted a profit last quarter for the first time since Covid struck bolstered by increasing vaccination rates, improving consumer confidence and the release of a greater number of high-performing new films.
The shares are up more than 4%. Cinemark and AMC Entertainment stock also headed higher, up, respectively, 4% and 10%. Marcus said total revenue more than quadrupled to $145.9 million for the three months ended in September and it swung to a profit of $1.76 million from a loss of $39.4 million.
On the exhibition side, sales from theater operations jumped to $38.2 million for the quarter from $3.1 million the year before, and concession ran up to $35.9 million from $3.2 million.
“We are optimistic about the continuing rebound in the movie theatre industry and at Marcus Theatres in particular,” said Rolando Rodriguez, CEO of Marcus Theatres. “The film studios continued to release exciting new films during the quarter, driving significant improvement in attendance across our circuit. Our guests are continuing to enjoy the moviegoing experience as evidenced by strong concession revenues during both the quarter and first three quarters of fiscal 2021, which further contributed to our results. As more consumers return to seeing movies the way they are meant to be seen, we are encouraged by the growing number of studios who have publicly recognized the importance of the exclusive theatrical window to the success of their films.”
The chain’s highest grossing films over the three months included Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Jungle Cruise, Free Guy, and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Momentum in October, made it the best month at the box office since Covid, with Venom: Let There Be Carnage, The Addams Family 2, No Time to Die, Halloween Kills and Dune boosting early results in the current fourth quarter.
Highly anticipated new films scheduled for release in the remainder of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 include Eternals, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, King Richard, Encanto, West Side Story, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sing 2, The Kings Man and The Matrix Resurrections. And the slate continues to look strong into 2022.
Comparing admission revenues to pre-pandemic fiscal 2019 results, Marcus said it significantly outperformed the industry by nearly eight percentage points for the three months ended in September and by 6 percentage points during the first three quarters of fiscal 2021, according to data received from Comscore. Based on this data, the company believes Marcus Theatres continues to be one of the top performing theatre circuits in the U.S.
Execs will host a call at 11 am ET to discuss the numbers and outlook.