This is becoming a familiar theme in exhibition, although Carmike‘s Q4 numbers are complicated by its acquisition in November of 251 screens from Rave Reviews Cinemas as well as an $86.5M year-end tax benefit. With those factored in, Carmike had net income of $91.6M in Q4, up from $1.7M at the end of 2011, on revenues of $146.6M, +23.2%. The revenue number beats forecasts for $144.25M. The company reported EPS of $5.19; without one-time items, that comes to 43 cents vs an adjusted number for last year of 24 cents. Analysts expected the company to generate unadjusted EPS of 24 cents in Q4 vs last year’s 13 cents. Accounting complications aside, the basic numbers look solid: Admissions revenues rose 22.6% to $93.7M as the chain sold 13.2M tickets (+16.1%) at an average price of $7.10 a ticket (+5%). Concessions revenues were up 24.3% to $52.9M, with average sales per patron of $3.99. It was the 12th straight quarter of concessions growth. “The Company’s growing footprint expanded to approximately 2,500 screens as we took another step along our way to achieving Carmike’s next corporate milestone of 3,000 screens and 300 locations across ‘Hometown America’,” CEO David Passman says. “We will continue to actively target acquisitions and attractive build-to-suit opportunities.”
While the French film industry has recently been polarized at home – spurred on by a Le Monde editorial penned by Wild Bunch co-founder and sales chief Vincent Maraval – there was good news from abroad this morning. Foreign admissions hit a record high in 2012 with French films selling 140M tickets, an 88% uptick over 2011, for 875M euros ($1.17B) in receipts. Export body Unifrance says today that the figures for 2012 are doped by the extraordinary performance of a handful of films including Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s The Intouchables, Olivier Megaton’s Taken 2 and Oscar-winner The Artist, which rep 65% of overseas sales. Intouchables, which was shortlisted for the Foreign Language Oscar but failed to make the final nominations, is the most successful French-language film ever internationally at 29.6M tickets sold while the Luc Besson-produced Taken 2 is the most successful French film ever outside the home territory with over 46M admissions. Other films hitting high marks abroad include Michael Haneke’s multiple Oscar nominee Amour, comedy Asterix & Obelix: God Save Britannia, Bibo Bergeron’s animated A Monster In Paris, Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone and Pathé’s What’s In A Name. Western Europe consumed French films in record numbers and Asia had the strongest progression. North American audiences bought 32M tickets to French movies for a 45% jump on 2011.
Unifrance this week has been hosting the annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema which gives international buyers a look at upcoming French films on the slates of local sales companies. Next week, it will be back to business and to the debate over how French films are financed.
The soft results in an SEC filing this evening are consistent with some of the numbers we’ve seen elsewhere for the quarter — but with a lot of financial noise resulting from Wanda Group’s $2.7B acquisition of the No. 2 U.S. theater chain at the end of August. AMC says that it had $33.2M in net earnings for the quarter that ended in September, up from a $10.2M loss in the period a year ago, on revenues of $650.2M, -3.1%. But the profit figure was inflated by a $39M gain from the sale or closing of its theaters in Canada and the UK. (That covers proceeds from the sales as well as the write-off of long-term lease liabilities.) Admission revenue came in at $460M (-4.2%) as the number of tickets sold at the theaters owned at the end of the quarter fell 5.3% to nearly 49M. AMC had better luck with concessions, which generated revenues of $182.5M, (+1.9%). AMC reports that financial advisers and consultants were paid $32.3M in “success fees” for their work on the deal with Wanda.
In 2001, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s charmer Amélie began to break records inside France and out. In November that year, Miramax released it in the U.S. and it ultimately became the French-language film with the most admissions ever outside its home country. With 23.1M admissions worldwide, Amélie held its perch until this weekend, when another movie handled Stateside by Harvey Weinstein leapfrogged over it. Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s Intouchables, the story of an unlikely friendship between a millionaire quadriplegic and a young man from the other side of the tracks, has now clocked 23.2M entries globally, French export body Unifrance confirms to Deadline. That figure surpasses the nearly 20M tickets Intouchables sold for studio Gaumont during its theatrical run in France. It’s broken records in other territories and still more people will see it outside France in the coming weeks when it opens in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia. In its 16th week in U.S. release, Intouchables has taken $11,570,960 at the box office. Amélie eventually earned upwards of $33M in the U.S.
The earnings statement from the largest theater chain begins with a statement from CEO Amy Miles about last week’s shooting in Aurora. “We believe that movie theatres have always been and will continue to be places where friends, families and communities can safely gather together for a few hours of fun and entertainment,” she says. “We were devastated and heartbroken by the senseless acts that took place in one of those theatres last week, but remain committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our guests.” There was virtually no commentary about the Q2 results themselves, which were mixed. Regal reported net income of $37.2M, up 6.9% vs the same period last year, on revenues of $723.3M, -4%. The revenue figure missed analysts’ expectation for $732.9M. But adjusted earnings at 25 cents a share beat the 20 cent forecasts. Attendance at 54,297 was down 8.5% from last year — but at 6,552 screens, down about 100. The average ticket price was $9.11, up from $8.75. Concessions revenues also were up to $3.55 per patron from $3.37.
CANNES, FR – May 17, 2012- Anchor Bay Films has joined forces once again with Andy Garcia’s CineSon Productions for the indie romantic comedy, Admissions. Academy Award™ nominees Garcia (The Untouchables, Godfather III, Oceans 11) and Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed) are set to star. The two companies previously released the critically-acclaimed indie City Island produced by and starring Garcia. Bill Clark, Anchor Bay Entertainment President, made today’s announcement.
The Plano, Texas-based exhibition chain kept in step with the earnings season’s round of better-than-expected results. It generated $772,000 in net income, up 115% vs the same period last year, on revenues of $578.8M, up 6.8%. The revenue figure compared to analysts’ consensus forecast of $572M. And earnings, at 37 cents a share, beat predictions of 34 cents. Total attendance was up 14.5% to 61,548. Domestic theaters were up 19.3% to 39,830. But company watchers may be surprised at the increase in the average ticket price, which was +5% to $6.08 in all of Cinemark’s theaters and +4.7% to $6.70 in domestic ones. Concession spending per patron also was up — +7% to $2.92 across the board, and +5.1% to $3.30 in domestic venues. “This was an impressive quarter for our industry with North American box office increasing an estimated 23.5%,” Cinemark CEO Tim Warner says. “Cinemark’s US assets once again outperformed the industry.” The chain ended the period with 459 theaters and 5,181 screens — with plans to build 11 theaters with 107 screens in 2012.
Los Angeles, CA, April 26, 2012—Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga are set to star in indie romantic comedy “Admissions,” which Garcia will also produce through his CineSon Productions. Adam Rodgers will direct from a script co-written with Glenn German, who will also produce alongside Sig Libowitz, under his Look at the Moon Productions banner. Ellen Wander of Film Bridge International will executive produce along with Sonya Lunsford (Academy Award-winning box office hit “The Help”), with Wander and FBI handling international distribution. The Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group arranged the film’s financing and will be selling domestic distribution rights.
“Admissions” centers on a once-in-a-lifetime relationship that develops between two strangers over the course of a single day. Farmiga portrays Edith, a free-spirited mom taking her driven daughter Audrey on a walking tour of a beautiful small college. Garcia plays buttoned-up heart surgeon George, who’s taking his son Conrad on the same tour. Failing comically to connect with their respective children, George and Edith decide to play “tour hooky” together for the rest of the afternoon. The result is a surprising romance and the greatest half-day of their lives.
Academy Award nominee Farmiga (“Up In The Air,” “The Departed,” “Higher Ground,” “Safe House”) has recently wrapped New Line Cinema’s “The Warren Files.” Academy Award nominee Garcia (“The Godfather: Part III”, “The Untouchables”, “Ocean’s 11”), who produced and starred in the critically-acclaimed indie hit
Ticket sales in France reached 104.2 million between January and June this year, according to state body Centre National de la Cinématographie. Box office hit €640 million ($813 million).
The admissions rise was choked off in June though, partly because of the World Cup and partly because of weak film releases. June admissions fell by 4.4% year-on-year to 10.7 million.
Hollywood increased its market share to 52.3% over the first six months. France’s share of the box office fell to 38.5% compared with 40% in 2009. This is despite local films such as holdover Le Petit Nicolas grossing €5.7 million and L’Amacoeur (Heartbreaker), starring Vanessa Paradis, earning €4 million through les tourniquets.
I’m told that French producers are feeling the pinch just like everybody else. Last year, the average French production cost €5.1 million to produce compared with €6.4 million in 2008.
Global Showbiz Briefs: BIFA To Honor Julie Walters; New Zealand Film Group Picks 10 Best NZ Pics Of All Time; More
Julie Walters Tapped For BIFA’s Richard Harris Award
Julie Walters is to receive the Richard Harris Award at the British Independent Film Awards this coming weekend. The prize was introduced in 2002 to recognize outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Walters started out in television and broke into film with her BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning performance in 1983’s Educating Rita. She was also nominated for an Oscar for the film and later received a further Oscar nomination for Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot. More recently, she played Ron Weasley’s mother Molly in all of the Harry Potter movies. Among Walters’ other credits are Prick Up Your Ears, Calendar Girls, Becoming Jane and Mamma Mia! She next will be seen in The Harry Hill Movie and in 2014’s live-action Paddington. The BIFAs will be held on December 8 in London.
New Zealand Film Body Picks 10 Best NZ Films Of All Time
A government-backed film body in New Zealand has released its list of the Top 10 New Zealand films of all time. Rather than select any of the Lord Of The Rings movies, NZ On Screen selected Peter Jackson’s 1994 Heavenly Creatures as the director’s entry. The organization recognized that “much dissension will arise from the exclusion of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. … Although Jackson’s film company WingNut was involved in all productions, they are generally viewed as Hollywood films made in Wellington. For the purposes of this Top 10, it’s sensible to preclude them.” Instead, it said that Heavenly Creatures, which gave Kate Winslet her first big screen role, was “the best film to mark the extraordinary talent of our most commercially successful director.” NZ On Screen is funded by NZ On Air, an independent government funding agency that invests in local content. Along with Heavenly Creatures, the Top 10 also includes: Goodbye Pork Pie (1981), Smash Palace (1981), Utu (1983), Vigil (1984), The Piano (1993), Once Were Warriors (1994), Whale Rider (2002), In My Father’s Den (2004) and Boy (2010). Of the somewhat dark choices, NZ On Screen said: “We are a weird people and we seem to prefer making films about how weird we are. We depict what we know.”
Danish director Per Fly‘s biopic of Swedish singer and actress Monica Zetterlund has passed the 500,000 admissions mark in Sweden. With $7M in its songbook, that makes it the country’s biggest grosser in 2013, outperforming Hollywood fare that includes Despicable Me 2, Iron Man 3 and — so far — The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Monica Z (Waltz For Monica internationally) opened September 13th and stars Edda Magnason as the titular chanteuse who went from small-town telephone operator to international jazz club fixture of the 1960s and ’70s. The period pic is produced by Lena Rehnberg (Let The Right One In) of Sweden’s StellaNova Films, and written by Peter Birro (Snabba Cash II). Svensk Filmindustri has sold it in 19 territories, although there’s no U.S. distributor yet. Here’s a look:
Just ahead of its U.S. bow today, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has set a record in South Africa where it opened on Thursday — and where moviegoers reportedly took the day off work to attend screenings in cities and in the countryside. The Videovision Entertainment release (through United International Pictures) was No. 1 at the box office with 751,000 rands ($73,747) for a per-screen average of 8,620 rands ($858). That’s about 23,000 admissions and is a record for a non-holiday Thursday according to Videovision. Starring Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom chronicles Nelson Mandela’s journey from his childhood in rural South Africa to his inauguration as the country’s first democratically elected president. The Weinstein Co releases the film today in New York and Los Angeles.
There was a helping of good news for the French box office on Wednesday when local comedy Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table! (Me, Myself And Mum) sold 69,342 tickets to become the strongest debut of the week. It also had the fifth best opening (79,636 admissions including previews) of any French film in 2013. The French box office has had a rough year of it so far: Overall admissions are down 5.5% and French market share has dropped from 42.9% to 32.3%, according to the latest figures from local watchdog the CNC. It looks likely that when January 1st rolls around, there will be only one French film (comedy Les Profs) amongst the top 10 of the past 12 months. That’s a rare occurrence indeed after 2012 closed with three French titles in the top 10 and 2011 boasted not only the No. 1 and No. 2 overall films – The Intouchables and Rien A Déclarer – but also the Oscar-winning The Artist. This year, Intouchables studio Gaumont has Les Garçons, giving it something to crow about after the disappointment of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet. Les Garçons is a virtual one-man show that is written and directed by Guillaume Gallienne in his helming debut. He also plays the two lead roles. It debuted in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight this year where it was a prize winner. Gallienne, who hails from …
FremantleMedia is expanding its scripted business with this acquisition in the hot Nordic region. Miso Film‘s TV credits include the recently launched Dicte, and Those Who Kill, a drama being remade for A&E with Chloë Sevigny and James D’Arcy starring. It’s also working on 1864, an epic war drama series directed by Ole Bornedal that’s Denmark’s biggest production ever. On the feature side, Miso produced 2008′s Max Manus, the Norwegian drama that launched the careers of Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. Here’s the full release:
EXCLUSIVE: Days after John Sloss began reporting real-time VOD grosses for the Disney-shot indie Escape From Tomorrow and challenged his peers to do the same, RADiUS-TWC co-heads Tom Quinn and Jason Janego have become the latest distributors to go the transparency route. Quinn and Janego have told me that their Keanu Reeves-directed martial arts film Man Of Tai Chi has grossed $1.5 million across digital, satellite and cable platforms ahead of today’s theatrical rollout.
The film began its Ultra-VOD window September 27, and Quinn and Janego were pleased with the results, while noting the film was not available on all satellite services or in hotels. “I’m pleased with that number out of the gate,” Quinn said. “I’m happy we’re able to make this film as widely available theatrically as possible and without VOD frankly we couldn’t do that. It just wouldn’t make sense financially.”
Oscar-Buzzed ‘12 Years A Slave’ In Top Ten, ‘Jackass: Bad Grandpa’ Opens #1 For $32M, All-Star ‘The Counselor’ Bombs With $8M
SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: The most interesting news of the weekend, at least to me, is that New Regency’s financed and produced Best Picture Oscar frontrunner 12 Years A Slave marketed and distributed by Fox Searchlight is only playing in 123 theaters (up from 19 last weekend) yet jumped into the Top Ten. Propelled by critical raves, it’s in 8th place despite Steve McQueen’s unvarnished depiction of mankind’s brutality from John Ridley’s screenplay based on the book by Solomon Northup. The per screen average is $17,400 for a new cume of $3.4M. There still is tremendous curiosity in Hollywood as to this pre-Civil War drama’s box office potential after it opened last weekend with an ‘A’ CinemaScore and an impressive $50,000 per screen averager. Studio says it’s playing well in art houses, African American theaters, as well as in mainstream multiplexes in markets LA, NY, Atlanta, Wash DC, Chicago, Toronto, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston and Detroit. Next week it adds 45 new cities and will increase theater count to over 400 locations across North America. Stellar cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodward, and of course Brad Pitt who’s also starring in one of this month’s worst box office bombs. (See below).
Are there really going to be 86-year-old Irving Zismans (aka Johnny Knoxville in 8 hours worth of industrial-strength makeup) at Halloween parties this weekend? This fourth moronic Jackass movie was outselling R-rated comedies like We’re The Millers and This Is The End at the same point in their online pre-sales cycles. So it was no surprise that Thursday 9 PM late shows and Friday midnight screenings grossed a gigantic $1.4 million and then went into Friday’s $12.6M opening total for Paramount/MTV Films’ Jackass: Bad Grandpa (3,336 theaters). Saturday’s take was down only -5% for $11.5M and a $32M weekend from 3,336 theaters. Hollywood knows never to underestimate the taste of American moviegoers which gave the comedy a ‘B’ CinemaScore. So this crapfest came in an easy #1. “Not bad for a film that cost $15M,” a studio exec tells me. It’s apparently now the 3rd best R-rated comedy opener of the year demonstrating this 2000 MTV-origin franchise isn’t played out. But this gross is far less than 2010′s Jackass 3-D opening weekend of $50.4M.
But internationally Bad Grandpa opened as the highest-grossing release in the Jackass franchise. It was let loose day and date this weekend in the UK and Germany and a number of smaller markets and grossed a healthy $8.1M from 1,014 locations in 16 territories. That’s 3X bigger than the second Jackass opening for the same group of markets and on a par with Jackass 3D despite the fact that Bad Grandpa is a 2D release and a spin-off rather than a straight sequel. In terms of admissions, there were +20% more than for Jackass 3D. The UK delivered $3.2M from 371 sites for the biggest opening for the Jackass franchise. And Knoxville’s geezer scored a big $3.1M from 285 cinemas for the #1 launch as the biggest opening for the Jackass franchise in the market. Other releasing territories: Netherlands $474K at 63 locations, Austria $410K in 50 cinemas, Finland $164K from 69 locations. Australia releases on November 14th.
Zisman’s character previously only perturbed passerbys in brief hidden-camera punk’ds. Here director Jeff Tremaine ages up Knoxville who travels with his grandson to some pretty decent reviews. (Hey, not my problem if critics want to lose more brain matter.) The marketplace was ripe for a raw comedy and Paramount marketed to frat houses around the country. The trailer launched in August on We’re The Millers and TV ads had heavy play on sports channels. At MTV’s VMAs, Knoxville as Zisman and his grandson did shtick then custom vignettes for Spike TV and Comedy Central showed the geezer screening the film at the Playboy mansion with bunnies.
Warner Bros’ Gravity fell from atop the domestic box office for 3 straight weeks to #2 and a still amazing $20.3M weekend and nearly $200M domestic cume through Sunday. In #3 is the Paul Greengrass/Tom Hanks adult drama Captain Phillips entering its 4rd weekend for Sony Pictures with an $11.8M weekend for a new cume of $70M through Sunday.
Twentieth Century Fox’s Ridley Scott vanity project The Counselor (3,044 theaters) only opened #4 to a meager $8M weekend. Studio claims the cost was only $25M. Good thing because audiences gave the derivative drug thriller a dreaded ‘D’ CinemaScore despite a standout cast of Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz in No Country For Old Men author Cormac McCarthy’s first screenplay. Not much reason to talk about the film’s marketing or creative plan since Fox ran off the top execs running both departments in recent days. So why did this turkey get made? “Tom Rothman did it for Ridley because he’d made so much money for the studio with Prometheus,” an insider tells me. “But even people who’ve seen it can’t figure out what it’s about.” Ouch! Exit polling showed that the audience was 49%/51% male-female, with 85% aged 25+ and 15% aged 25 or under. “Some good grosses in the big city, core runs where audiences are more likely to be receptive to challenging, provocative filmmaking,” a Fox exec Sunday. “We’re extremely proud of our filmmaker Ridley Scott as well as our phenomenal cast who all came together to make this film for a very reasonable price. We opened in a few international territories this weekend so the end result for our modestly budgeted film is far from being known at this time. But suspect we will be in good shape financially at the end of the day.”
Overall the weekend is $100M, or +15% from last year. Here’s the Top Ten list:
EXCLUSIVE: NATO president/CEO John Fithian struck back at Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who today gave the keynote speech at the Film Independent Forum and charged theater owners with potentially killing the movie business by being inflexible with shrinking theatrical windows. Fithian said that if anybody is imperiling the time-tested movie going experience, it is upstarts like Netflix.
“Subscription movie services and cheap rentals killed the DVD business, and now Sarandos wants to kill the cinema as well,” Fithian said. As for Sarandos’ assertion that studios should offer their films on Netflix day and date with theatrical openings, Fithian said that “The only business that would be helped by day-and-day release to Netflix is Netflix. If Hollywood did what Sarandos suggests, there wouldn’t be many movies left for Netflix’s customers or for anyone else. It makes absolutely no business sense to accelerate the release of the lowest value in the chain.”
Netflix is just the latest party to join the ongoing argument over how movie distribution models should evolve, if at all. TV has grown nimble, with cable systems and networks making it easier than ever for audiences to catch shows so that initial air times are almost irrelevant. In the independent film space, multi-platform releasing continues to grow as a viable alternative to a theatrical model which requires a significant P&A spend. The major chains have largely refused to play ball, and often force multi platform distributors to “four wall” screens, instead of the revenue split formula that is usually the way distributors and theaters do business. Many have argued that it is inefficient for studios to spend huge P&A sums to open films in theaters, and then be forced to wait half a year or more, and spend more money to rebuild awareness for the DVD, VOD and pay windows for films that consumers have long since forgotten about. But the last time a studio tried to buck the system, as Universal did on the Brett Ratner-directed Tower Heist, the major film chains banded together and arm-twisted Universal to shut down a limited test that would have offered day and date VOD viewing at a premium price. The theaters are protecting their own business, after having gone to the expense of building and upgrading theaters all over the country.
Related: Netflix Shares Hit New Highs in Q3
The numbers are strong, although apparently not enough to excite investors. Shares are up 0.2% post market after the leading exhibition company said it generated net income of $75.1M, +212.9% vs last year’s Q3, on revenues of $813.1M, +17.4%. Analysts expected revenues to come in lower at $800.4M. Adjusted earnings at 38 cents a share beat the consensus forecast of 30 cents. The chain says that it sold 62.4M tickets in the quarter, +16.4%, with an average ticket price of $8.79, unchanged from last year. That resulted in admissions revenue of $548.4M. The average visitor spent $3.59 on concessions, +2.6%, driving total revenues of $224.1M. CEO Amy Miles says that she’s “encouraged by the year-to-date industry box office results and [is] optimistic regarding the box office prospects for the upcoming holiday season.”
Looks like an unwavering release strategy for Blue Is The Warmest Color has paid off for French distributor Wild Bunch. The Cannes Palme d’Or-winning love story went out yesterday in France and landed atop the Paris box office in its first 2 PM showings, outperforming both Disney’s Planes and the Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Prisoners. Planes was No. 1 in the whole of the country for the day, early rankings show, followed by Blue and Prisoners. In Paris, however, the Blue curious were out in droves for the first showings, bringing the film 3,286 admissions on 26 screens versus 2,581 on 20 screens for Planes and 1,629 for Prisoners on 19 screens. The result gives Blue bragging rights as the top French debut of the year and puts it in the top 10 openers overall for 2013. (Full results for the day are still being tallied in France.) Wild Bunch notoriously stuck to its guns on maintaining an October 9th release date, even though that put the movie out of possible consideration as France’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar race. Sundance Selects has set an October 25th limited release in the U.S. for the film, which will be rated NC-17 stateside.