Cineplex revenue down 85% in Q3

Revenue fell to $61 million in Q3, compared with $418.4 million a year ago, but a backlog of tentpole features and the potential of a vaccine is cause for optimism, said CEO Ellis Jacob.
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Cineplex’s revenue fell by 85% to $61 million in Q3, compared with $418.4 million a year ago, as the impact of cinema closures across the country continued to weigh heavily on its financial results.

However, following news of a breakthrough in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, CEO Ellis Jacob expressed hope of a rebound for the global exhibition industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic.

Theatre attendance for the three months ending Sept. 30 was 1.6 million, compared with 17.5 million the year prior. As a result, box office revenue was down 91% to $14.5 million, from last year’s $177.9 million.

With many of its cinemas remaining closed (or experiencing stop-start openings and closures) since the onset of the pandemic in March, Cineplex said its net cash burn has been approximately $15 million to $20 million per month. Cineplex has undertaken a number of measures to curtail costs while it navigates the ongoing reality of theatre closures and an absence of tentpole products.

For the year to date, revenue is down by 70.1% to $365.8 million, from $1.22 billion last year. Over the same time frame, overall theatre attendance has fallen to 12.3 million, from 49.5 million attendees the year prior.

Elsewhere in its quarterly financial results, Cineplex said it had raised $303 million in additional financing, obtained extended relief under its credit facilities and reduced outgoings on lease costs by around $58 million.

Jacob told investors that Cineplex is encouraged by reports of a breakthrough in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier in the week, news that Pfizer could start rolling out a vaccine in the first half of next year sent Cineplex’s share price up to $7.05 per share, compared with around $5 per share over the month prior.

Jacob said the availability of a COVID vaccine could mean 2021 is a strong year for the exhibition industry, as delayed titles including No Time to DieMission: Impossible 7Top Gun: Maverick and Minions: The Rise of Gru hit the big screen. At press time Cineplex’s share price was $6.54 per share, compared with $23.10 on this day a year ago.

In the background is the lawsuit against Cineworld Group, after the U.K.-based exhibition company’s takeover deal fell apart earlier this year. Cineplex, which is seeking damages in excess of $2.18 billion, said the trial date is still set for September 2021, noting that it isn’t possible to predict the timing or the final outcome of the legal proceedings.

From PlayBack