Milwaukee-based Marcus Corp. reported an increase in earnings and revenue during the first quarter driven by strong performance in theater admissions.
Net income attributable to the company was $5.45 million, up from $3.23 million the previous year. Earnings were up 67 percent to 20 cents per diluted share from 12 cents the previous year.
Revenue was up 5.7 percent to $125.4 million, which president and chief executive officer Greg Marcus called a record for the company.
Theater admissions were up 10.8 percent to $46.9 million. Chief financial officer Doug Neis said the industry was up 5.4 percent during the period.
The company credited upgrades to premium large format screens and recliner seating as part of the reason for the solid quarter. Seventeen renovated theaters were opened in December.
“Clearly, the investments we are making in our theaters are making a difference,” Marcus said.
The top-five films in the quarter were Deadpool, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Zootopia, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Revenant. Marcus said those films accounted for 49 percent of theater admission revenue. The top-five in the same period the previous year accounted for 38 percent.
Revenue from concessions was up 11 percent to $29.8 million
Revenue from hotel rooms was off 3 percent to $20 million, but the company reported revenue per available room for comparable company-owned properties increased 4.4 percent. The company also noted the comparisons were hampered by the sale of the Hotel Phillips and the absence of New Year’s Eve in this year’s first quarter.
Food and beverage revenue was down 4.1 percent to $14.5 million.
Marcus also addressed speculation the company is planning to expand the SafeHouse restaurant to Chicago.
“Chicago is a big city and maybe we’re going there and maybe we’re not, but we haven’t released any plans yet,” he said. “We do want to grow it. We think it is growable, but there’s only one so far.”