Lack Of Family Films Accounts For Slow Q1 Box Office, Theater Industry Rep Says

DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
Carmike CEO Re-Elected As Chairman Of National Association Of Theater Owners

Attendance takes off when there’s a diversity of films and it was “just not there” in the beginning of 2013, National Association of Theater Owners chief John Fithian said in a conference call to discuss the MPAA’s report on business trends in 2012. “We have not performed as well as we’d like, we’re down about 12%….If you look at January in particular we had a lot of movies rated R that included a lot of violence. And those movies can sell, but not when that’s all you’ve got to offer.” The dearth of family fare in early 2013 contrasts with the last few months of 2012 when “we had comedies, we had dramas, we had family and we were up over 15% in that quarter.” Looking ahead, though, he’s “pretty confident about the remainder of 2013.” The upturn won’t take place right away: Last year had an outsized success with Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games. ”That was a $400M picture out of nowhere,” Fithian says. But by summer “the comps are strong and the fall period is strong, too. In 2012 our summer and fall were not record breaking types of numbers. It was the first quarter in 2012 that was out of control record breaking.”

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