RPT-Fitch: 2013 Attendance Challenges Not Enough to Change Outlook for U.S. Movie Exhibitors

April 9 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)

The operating outlook for the U.S. movie exhibition industry remains stable, albeit within the context of expected attendance declines in 2013, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

As Fitch’s report, ‘An Exclusive Preview: Fitch’s 2013 Movie Exhibitor Outlook and Analysis’, states Fitch maintains its cautious view on the longer-term prospects for the industry over the past several years.

Fitch’s 2013 expectations incorporate:

--Attendance declines in the low- to mid-single digits, mainly due to the strong film slate in 2013 that produced record box office revenues;

--Roughly flat average ticket price, driven by a modest increase in the base ticket price, partially offset by a lower anticipated mix of premium tickets;

--Flat concession revenue growth despite the aforementioned attendance declines. Concessions will benefit from increased per capita spending mostly driven by the increased concession offerings by the major players; and

--Increased acquisition activity as the rollout of digital screens concludes and studios consider only releasing films in a digital format.

Longer term, Fitch believes revenues and the profitability of movie theaters could be increasingly challenged by factors that are largely out of management’s control. Among them are quality and quantity of movies from the studios and increasing indirect competition from other distribution channels such as video on demand and the Internet. Fitch believes movie exhibition will continue to be a key promotion window for the movie studios’ biggest/most profitable releases.

‘An Exclusive Preview’ also provides updated organization charts and portfolio summaries for AMC Entertainment Inc, Cinemark Holdings, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Inc. The report is available at ‘’ under the following headers:

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