The nation’s third-largest exhibitor Cinemark announced Q3 earnings last week, with its dismal results reflecting the dramatic pressure exhibitors are under in the current economic climate. The Dallas-based exhibitor reported $35M in revenue and a $148M loss for Q3 2020, which compares with $821M in revenue and $33M in profit in the same quarter of 2019.
That amounts to a more than 95% drop in revenues, year over year. In an attempt to see the glass half full (a quarter full?), CEO Mark Zoradi predicted a recovery once film studios begin releasing their major new titles. Zoradi also pointed to new business offerings that have proven to be very successful, such as dedicated private screenings.
They have welcomed over 600,000 customers to attend screenings at Cinemark theatres through more than 50,000 private screening events. This has amounted to an important source of revenue over the past six months, while the industry has been operating on life support. Cinemark also signalled a willingness to negotiate with studios on a film-by-film basis to allow flexible (shorter) theatrical release windows. It signals a new openness by exhibitors to consider changes to the traditional rules of theatrical distribution to keep pace with changes in customer viewing behaviours.