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Marcus Corporation Reports Increased Theater Attendance, Digital Cinema Testing

Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2006 and updated on Thursday, July 27th, 2006 6:12 PM

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The Marcus Corporation, parent of Marcus Theatres, reported increased revenues, operating income and earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended May 25, 2006.

Of particular note are the mentions of a 4.3% increase in attendance, and the mention of them testing digital cinema in some locations.

According to the revenue figures, admission revenue is up almost 3% in comparable 13-week periods between fiscal 2005 and 2006 but a 2.83% drop when comparing the full 52 weeks of each fiscal year. Concession revenue was up 5.27% and down 0.63%, respectively.

In regards to digital cinema, the only mention was that

"The industry is moving cautiously forward with plans for the introduction of digital cinema and we are currently testing digital cinema hardware and software at some of our theatres..."

Indeed, the Sunday Cue section of the 7/23/2006 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contained a small mention in the movie ad for "Lady in the Water" that read "Digital Projection at this Theatre" with Marcus North Shore Cinema listed beneath. I was not able to get any additional details from Marcus Corporation about this subject.

You can read the entire release at the Read link, but the following is the portion that pertains to the Marcus Theatres operations:

Marcus Theatres reported increased revenues and operating income in the fourth quarter, with a 4.3% increase in attendance. "The fourth quarter movie slate had broad appeal, attracting audiences of all ages. Top pictures for the fourth quarter were Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, The Da Vinci Code and Mission Impossible 3," said Marcus [Stephen H. Marcus, chairman and chief executive officer of The Marcus Corporation].

"Although the division's overall results were down for the year, the improving trends were quite encouraging," said Marcus. He noted that the highest-grossing films for the year were Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, War of the Worlds, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Wedding Crashers.

"In early July, we broke ground for 'The Majestic,' our new flagship theatre in Brookfield, Wis. This will be an entertainment destination featuring 16 stadium-style auditoriums, including two UltraScreens(R), and a multi-purpose auditorium named the Palladium that will be fully equipped for live performances such as comedy shows, musicals, meetings and movies. The Majestic will also include an Italian restaurant, a cafe with name-brand coffee, ice cream and hand-dipped chocolates, and the Palladium Lounge, where guests over 21 can enjoy a cocktail before or after a performance. The Majestic will be one of the first theatres in the country to combine restaurants, a multi-use venue and large UltraScreens into one entertainment facility. We believe this new concept will further refine and enhance the movie-going experience and look forward to its anticipated opening in spring 2007," said Marcus. He added that construction continues on two new theatres in Green Bay and Sturtevant, Wis., with both theatres scheduled to open in November 2006.

"The industry is moving cautiously forward with plans for the introduction of digital cinema and we are currently testing digital cinema hardware and software at some of our theatres," he added.

"Fiscal 2007 has begun very well, with box office receipts and concession sales for the first half of the summer showing nice gains over the same period last year. The very strong box office for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest set a new record for the best summer week in our history, illustrating that when we have top-quality movies to show, the audience responds. Other movies that have performed well to this point in the summer include X-Men 3, Cars and Superman Returns. We are hopeful that this improvement will continue for the remainder of the summer, with potential hits including Snakes on a Plane, Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and The Ant Bully," said Marcus.


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