TOP 5 U.S.

   Record boxoffice grosses during the Thanksgiving holiday show Buena Vista and Universal in a virtual dead heat for bragging rights as the annual North American market share champ. Buena Vista currently leads the market share race, but Universal's two blockbusters "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Meet the Parents" has jumped the company from fouth to second place and biting at BV's heels for the annual title. The current leaders for the year are:

1.) BUENA VISTA - 14.7%
26 titles - $966,287,518

2.) UNIVERSAL - 13.6%
20 titles - $896,005,187

3.) WARNER BROS. 12.3%
26 titles - $809,991,048

4.) DREAMWORKS 11.6%
11 titles - $765,273,921

5.) PARAMOUNT 9.8%
18 titles - $645,749,322

Cinemark Income Down But Cash Flow Great

   Like other theater chains in recent months, Cinemark USA Inc. reported that its third-quarter net income was off by almost half from last year's figures. However, the company still reported record high revenues and cash flow. The theater chain credited the upturn in revenue to new theater additions and their improved cash flow to "intense focus" on operating margins. Cinemark, based in Plano, Texas, reported a third quarter net income of $4.3 million, compared to $8.3 million last year. But even though income was down, revenue rose 4.5%, while gross earnings gained 4.3%. With reduced building commitments in 2001, the company hopes to further improve its margins.

Carmike & Regal Blame Weak Movies

   With the financial crisis threatening all theater businesses these days, Carmike Cinemas Inc. reported a third-quarter loss to go along with its recently declared bankruptcy. Not to be outdone, the world's largest exhibition chain, Regal Cinemas Inc., also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to join the growing list of financially strapped exhibitors filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy lately.
   Carmike, a Columbus, Ga.-based exhibitor, said its revenue loss was due in large part to weak films in August and September, coupled with a reduction in the company's screen numbers as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.
   Maybe more exhibitors should look at Cinemark as the benchmark for maintaining their financial solvency in these lean times.

BVI Hits Billion Mark Overseas

   Buena Vista International officials are smiling now that the foreign sales arm of the Walt Disney Co has hit $1 billion for the year at the overseas boxoffice. This is the sixth year in a row that BVI has reached the billion-dollar mark. By year-end, the company could surpass their old record of $1.319 billion set last year. BVI reached $1 billion at the end of September, the fastest the company has ever reached the billion mark.

Fall B.O. Second Best But Admissions At Five Year Low

   The national boxoffice for the fall season surpassed the $1 billion mark, but just. Autumn revenue from U.S. theaters hit $1.04 billion, down 7% from last year's record $1.12 billion. But while this fall's national boxoffice was the third-best of any fall season, admissions were only fifth best, falling below 200 million for the first time since 1995. The autumn season can run 10 to 11 weeks, between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

U.K. Boxoffice Woes Blamed On Poor Movie Fare

   The Cinema Advertising Association has predicted that the U.K. boxoffice admission figures for November will show a 25% slump from the same period last year. Mirroring the complaints of U.S. exhibitors, U.K. movie houses are blaming the downturn in admissions on a lack of top-level movies from the studios, compared to last year's boxoffice successes like "The Sixth Sense," "The World Is Not Enough" and "The Blair Witch Project." But, according to the CAA, a number of upcoming titles are expected to help admissions bound back in December with the U.K. release of "The Grinch" and "102 Dalmatians."