Dec. 07, 2005

Carmike: 'Cars' should help fuel '06 b.o.

NEW YORK -- Movie theater operator Carmike Cinemas is hopeful that the U.S. boxoffice will return to growth mode next year, chief financial officer Martin Durant said Tuesday. Speaking at the UBS Global Media Conference, he spoke out against day-and-date and dvd releases and said Carmike will slowly start rolling out digital-film technology next year. "Something dramatic has to happen for next year to be weaker than this year," Durant said about the boxoffice, pointing out such upcoming wide releases as "Cars," "The Da Vinci Code," "Ice Age 2," "Superman Returns" and "Mission: Impossible 3," among others, as promising fare. However, he cautioned that Carmike isn't necessarily projecting a record-setting boxoffice next year. (Georg Szalai) F