AMC Entertainment Holdings on Tuesday reported a first-quarter loss, but revenue grew nearly 8 percent thanks to increased sales at the box office and concession stands.
Chief executive Gerry Lopez said the increase validated the company’s efforts to improve the customer experience through leather recliners, MacGuffins bars, dine-in theaters and other enhancements.
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“That’s the unequivocal answer,” Lopez said. “Guests, as we call them, are reacting very positively to what we are doing.”
Every AMC theater has seen some changes — and more are coming. Lopez said the chain is still learning about how the changes work in various theaters and of new ways it can improve its theaters.
The Leawood-based movie theater company lost $4.5 million for the three months that ended March 31, down from a loss of $10.3 million for the first quarter of 2013.
However, AMC said total revenue grew to $622.8 million during the quarter, up from $577.8 million in the same period last year.
Ticket revenue was up 6.8 percent in the quarter, which was the ninth consecutive quarter AMC has outperformed the industry in that measure, the company said. The increase stemmed from a 5.1 percent boost in attendance and a 1.7 percent increase in ticket prices.
Food and beverage revenue increased 8.2 percent for the three months, which the company attributed to the attendance improvement and a nearly 3 percent increase in food and beverage revenue per customer.
AMC’s admissions per screen were up 7 percent, which was higher than the industry average of 5 percent. The chain, principally owned by China-based Dalian Wanda Group, covered 341 movie complexes and 4,945 screens in the U.S. at the end of the first quarter.