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Cineplex profit doubles despite flat attendance

A Cineplex VIP cinema in Oakville.

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Cineplex Inc. doubled its profit despite flat attendance, as movie-goers paid more for tickets and popcorn as they watched movies such as Dark Knight Rises and the Amazing Spider-Man .

The Toronto-based movie chain has been converting its theatres to all-digital delivery to lower its costs and upgrading its facilities in order to charge customers more for a premium experience. The changes helped it set new third-quarter records for box office revenue per patron at $8.84 per person, and also for concessions at $4.68 per person (an increase of 5.6 per cent).

And while the top five films of the quarter outperformed the top five from a year ago – Dark Knight Rises was the top draw, compared to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 last year – the company said the rest of the summer movie slate underperformed. That pushed box– office revenue 0.2 per cent lower, to $162-million.

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The Toronto-based theatre chain said it earned $51.7-million, compared to $25.7-million in the same quarter last year. Revenue increased 1.7 per cent to $281.4-million, from $276.7-million.

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