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Aug 11, 2022

Cineplex posts first quarterly profit in 2 years on higher attendance

Can you imagine watching Top Gun on your TV at home?: Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob

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Cineplex Inc. turned a profit for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, as net income hit $1.3 million in the second-quarter, compared to a loss of $103.7 million a year earlier. 

In a news release on Thursday, the company said revenue in the second-quarter hit $349.9 million, a 438.9 per cent increase from $64.9 a year earlier. 

“It's been exciting and positive, guests [are] really having a great experience coming back. The numbers have been quite strong and continue to grow and move forward,” Ellis Jacob, the president and chief executive officer of Cineplex, said in a television interview Thursday afternoon. 

Jacob said in the release that Cineplex has retained Moelis & Co. as its financial advisor and Goodmans LLP as its lead counsel in its ongoing litigation efforts with Cineworld Group Plc., with appeal hearings scheduled for October. 

In December 2021 Cineplex was awarded $1.24 billion in damages by the Ontario Superior Court after Cineworld’s abandoned takeover of Cineplex.

Cineworld initially reached an agreement to acquire Cineplex in December of 2019, however, Cineworld backed out of the deal in June of 2020.  

“We got a very favourable ruling last December of $1.4 billion. They've appealed and we've counter-appealed. In October, we will be going and hearing that positioning and we feel very strongly and so do our supporters about our position,” Jacob said. 

Gains in revenue were mirrored by increases in second-quarter theatre attendance, which hit 11.1 million, rising 866.2 per cent from 1.1 million during the same period last year. 

“What's great about it is we have fewer films, but the films that are out are doing extremely well and are actually out grossing pre-pandemic numbers,” Jacob said. 

The success of films like Top Gun: Maverick, which opened with a domestic box office over $100 million, shows that Canadian audiences will flock to theatres when film product is strong, said Jacob in the release.