COLUMBUS, GA -- Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC), a leading digital cinema and 3-D motion picture exhibitor, today reported results for the three months ended December 31, 2009 and for the year ended December 31, 2009.

"Carmike reported strong 2009 fourth quarter results, driven by a 12 percent increase in attendance and a 20 percent increase in box office receipts," stated Carmike Cinemas President and Chief Executive Officer David Passman. "Q4 was a record-setting quarter for the industry domestically, with nine films grossing in excess of $100 million, capping off a very good year for U.S. cinema as movies generated receipts in excess of $10 billion for the first time in history. We are especially pleased that Avatar brought many patrons to the theatre to experience the excitement of 3-D for the first time.

"In addition to achieving solid box office results, we were able to keep costs in check, which helped us achieve adjusted EBITDA of nearly $27 million with a margin in excess of 19 percent. We also experienced a 25 percent year-over-year increase in theatre level cash flow for the fourth quarter," added Mr. Passman.

Carmike's Chief Financial Officer Richard B. Hare stated, "In the aggregate, our patrons spent an average of $10.15 per visit to a Carmike theatre during the 2009 fourth quarter, up 4.4 percent versus the prior-year period. Average admissions revenues rose 7.1 percent to $6.91, as we benefited from the 3-D up-charge and price increases throughout the year. Our average concessions and other revenue per patron held relatively steady at $3.24, versus $3.27 for the prior year period. Carmike's concessions per patron continues to be affected by the Company's ‘Stimulus Tuesday' program but this popular promotion has driven solid attendance gains on what was historically the slowest night of the week.

"On the expense side, we continued to reduce general and administrative expenses, and significantly lowered interest expense by 20.7 percent, thus improving cash flow and allowing us to make another voluntary $5 million bank debt pre-payment during Q4. We have made $40 million in bank debt pre-payments over the past 18 months, and in total have reduced the Company's outstanding bank debt balance by approximately $45 million during that time frame.

"During the fourth quarter, we recognized income tax expense due to limitations on both our net operating loss carryforwards and other deductions as a result of the application of Internal Revenue Code Section 382 due to the ownership change that occurred in October 2008.

"Subsequent to quarter-end, we finalized a new $265 million senior secured loan facility and a $30 million senior secured revolving credit facility. We are pleased with the interest rate on the term loan at LIBOR plus 350 basis points, with a 2% floor. We believe the new term loan and revolver will improve Carmike's financial flexibility going forward. At December 31, 2009, we were comfortably in compliance with our debt covenant financial ratios," said Mr. Hare.

Mr. Passman concluded, "We recognize that 2010 will be challenging as we face record comparisons, but we believe our ability to offer 3-D movies on more than 500 screens remains an advantage, and we are optimistic about our 2010 prospects given an upcoming slate that includes many promising 3-D titles, as well as highly anticipated traditional movies."

 

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Hong Kong - GDC Technology ("GDC"), a world leading digital cinema solution provider, is pleased to introduce the new "S2 Upgrade" for all SA-2100 Digital Cinema Servers, the first digital cinema servers to be commercially deployed with the new generation of Series 2 DLP Cinema® projector. Pioneered on the highly successful SA-2100 series of digital cinema servers, the "S2 Upgrade" provided by GDC allows customers to seamlessly connect the acclaimed SA-2100 servers to the next generation Series 2 DLP Cinema projector similar to the legacy "Series 1" DLP Cinema® projector.

The S2 upgraded SA-2100 servers are designed to meet all Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) specifications and provide an upgrade path to 4K digital cinema with the lowest cost of ownership and practically no disruption to the existing digital cinema installations with both legacy and Series 2 DLP Cinema projectors.

GDC being the pioneer in digital cinema server technology invented the first software-based digital cinema server in year 2000 and continues to provide upgrade paths to our customers throughout the decade. Today, GDC continues to lead the industry in innovation with its S2-projector-compatible digital cinema servers. The S2 upgraded digital cinema server provides integration with the new security features built inside the Series 2 projectors and supplies real-time subtitle rendering for the Series 2 projectors which currently rely on digital cinema server to provide subtitle images. The S2 upgraded SA-2100 server features options for Integrated Media Block ("IMB") with selected Series 2 DLP Cinema projectors or external Media Block ("MB") that resides in the digital cinema server.

Since January 2010, GDC has received purchase orders amounting to hundreds of SA-2100 servers to be installed with Series 2 projectors. GDC started shipping S2 upgraded SA-2100 servers in February and these new SA-2100 servers have been installed with Series 2 projectors in cinemas in US and Asia where the digital conversions are sponsored by Hollywood VPF programs.

"Once again GDC is quick to respond to the technology shift in the evolving digital cinema industry and brings to its customers the best and latest in digital cinema technology," said Dr. Man-Nang CHONG, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "That GDC's SA-2100 series of servers can be upgraded so swiftly to work with Series 2 projectors exemplifies not only our technology foresight, but also our belief in ensuring our customers' technology investment is always future-proof. Exhibitors opting for GDC can now have a peace of mind and wait for the arrival of 4K upgrade option, while in the mean time giving their audiences the best from Series 2 projectors."

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This is going to be a very busy week on Twitter movie-wise as one of the most highly anticipated films of the year for all demos open, i.e Alice In Wonderland. In addition, in an attempt to offer some viable counter-programming to the Alice Goliath, Overture will be releasing their crime drama Brooklyn's Finest

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Alice In Wonderland simply obliterated the competition on Twitter this week with a whopping 27,023 tweets. That's the second most pre-release week tweets after New Moon's 78,268. It appears to be strong with a wide range of people, both younger and older which is a great sign. In terms of comparisons: Where The Wild Things Are had 5,123 tweets its week before release, and Percy Jackson had 4,803. Obviously the film is going to be huge, but it will likely have a ratio to match. I'd expect its ratio to be sandwiched between Percy Jackson's 2,018 and New Moon's 5,171. I bring up New Moon again not because of genre or target audience but simply because it was the last major event movie to open on Twitter and had large amounts of spam, something Alice is contending with now. To put it into perspective, Avatar had only 29,979 tweets during its actual release week. It only had 8,036 tweets its week before. I'd say to perhaps look for a ~100,000 tweet week and a ~3,500 ratio. Should be a fun week!

Brooklyn's Finest had a solid week in the shadows with 1,784 tweets. The film is attempting to generate interest in older audiences, who have little Alice-desire. Notable comparisons include Armored which had 322 tweets in its week before release, and Edge of Darkness which had 1,168. In scanning tweet profile pictures and comments it seems to be generating most of its interest in women. This should drive its ratio higher than either of my two comparisons, as will the low theatre count which is estimated to be in the range of 1,800. It appears to be on course for a 5,000 tweets week which might see it land $4 - $5 million on next Friday.

Check back Monday night for analysis of the Monday tweet totals. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

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The ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Cop Out barely edged out The Crazies on Friday with a solid $6 million in receipts. This gave it a very respectable Twitter ratio of 469 from its 2,815 tweets. This was very close to my estimate of $5.5 million and a ~525 ratio. This ratio indicates that it did well with older and younger audiences alike, especially males which is no surprise considering the players involved. This easily makes for the best opening Director Kevin Smith has seen in his career and he can no doubt thank the ever present draw of Bruce Willis.

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The Crazies impressed on Friday with a solid $5.9 million. This led to a Twitter ratio of 849, which was right in line with my estimated 900 and $5.5 million. Very solid business considering its modest $20 million budget, as such the studio will no doubt be very pleased.

Check back tomorrow for a preview of the upcoming weekend's wide release films: Alice In Wonderland and Brooklyn's Finest. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets022602.jpg

The ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Cop Out came in just shy of four figures Thursday with 992 tweets, up from 619 on Wednesday. This gave it 2,815 for the full Monday to Thursday period, pretty much in line with my estimate of 2,750 from yesterday. Surrogates managed to score 1,418 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 3,062 for the whole week. It had $5.02 million in sales from 2,951 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 609. Men Who Stare At Goats had 1,270 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 3,249 for the whole week. It had $4.6 million in sales from 2,443 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 706. Lastly, From Paris With Love had 1,138 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 2,983 for the whole week. It had $3.0 million in sales from 2,772 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 994. Has it blown the roof off of Twitter? Obviously no, but its genre and star power's ability to reach older audiences should help to give it around a ~515 ratio for a $5.5 million Friday and $16 million for the full weekend.

The Crazies exploded on Thursday to almost exactly double its Wednesday's tally with 2,134 tweets. As I said yesterday, it's not uncommon to see this jump on Thursday for horror films since they generally have more of a midnight component than other genres. This gave it 5,012 for the full Monday to Thursday period, almost bang on the nose of my revised estimate yesterday. In terms of comparisons, The Fourth Kind managed to score 1,570 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 3,710 for the whole week. It had $5.0 million in sales from 2,529 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 742. Daybreakers had 1,836 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 5,130 for the whole week. It had $5.9 million in sales from 2,523 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 869. Lastly, Legion had 1,621 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 3,890 for the whole week. It had $6.7 million in sales from 2,476 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 581. Crazies seems to slot in nicely with these comparisons given its genre, target market, and its expansion throughout the week on Twitter. Expect a ~900 ratio and a $5.5 million Friday and $13 million for the three day frame.

Check back Saturday to see Friday's numbers and the actual Twitter ratios for the weekend and follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

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The ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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