UPDATE, 2:30 PM: Regal CFO David Ownby said during the company’s conference call that the lower results were mostly attributable to tough comparisons with the year-ago quarter. That was especially true for 3D offerings, when only The Amazing Spider-Man among the top films were offered in the format (the top three films in Q3 2011 were in 3D), meaning the exhibitor couldn’t charge its higher prices for premium tickets. Regal also said that Open Road Films, its indie acquisition and distribution joint venture with AMC, lost $14 million in the quarter owing to costs associated with promoting its movies Hit And Run and Silent Hill: Revelation, which comes out Friday. CEO Amy Miles said she was “very pleased” with Open Road, which has released six movies to date since its formation that have grossed a total of $155 million domestically.
PREVIOUS, 1:29 PM: Regal Entertainment Group reported third quarter revenue and net income that were lower compared with a year ago and below analysts’ estimates. It also declared a cash dividend of 21 cents per share, saying it intends to pay a regular quarterly dividend for the foreseeable future. Regal, the nation’s largest exhibitor, saw diluted earnings per share of 15 cents for the quarter, down a penny from 2011 and analysts’ estimates. CEO Amy Miles said the company had its highest Adjusted EBITDA total ever for the first nine months of the year. “Industry box office results for the first few weeks of the fourth quarter have been very strong and we are optimistic regarding the box office prospects for the upcoming holiday season”, she said ahead of the company’s earnings call later today. Total revenue for the third quarter ending September 27 was $692.9 million, compared with $743.6 million a year ago, down from consensus estimates of $713.15 million. Net income was $24 million compared to $2 million.