How Movie Theaters Used Alcohol, Comfy Chairs to Weather Box Office Downturn
J Thoendell stashed this in Film
Fewer people went to the movies during the twilight months of 2014, and yet the country’s three largest theater chains were able to handily beat Wall Street’s expectations when they posted their fourth-quarter earnings recently.
One major reason that Regal, AMC and Cinemark were able to outshine projections was that their investments in sprucing up their menus and offering other amenities such as reclining chairs and reserve ticketing appear to be paying off.
It’s a sign that an industry that was resistant to change and often neglected to think of snacks as anything beyond popcorn and soda has begun to broaden its culinary and hospitality horizons.
“They’re getting more creative,” said Tony Wible, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Each theater operator is trying to optimize the theaters in their footprint in a way that’s right for their local communities.”
At AMC, concession sales soared 8.8% to $215.3 million, while the amount that patrons spent at the snack bar climbed 13.5% to a record $4.46. At the same time admissions fell 4.5% to $460.3 million amid an industrywide box office decline.