Utilities and other costs include both fixed and variable costs and primarily consist of utilities, expenses for projection and sound equipment maintenance and monitoring, property taxes, janitorial costs, repairs, maintenance and security services.
General & administrative expenses are primarily fixed in nature and consists of the costs to support the overall management of the Company, including salaries and wages, incentive compensation and benefit costs for our corporate office personnel, facility expenses for our corporate offices, professional fees, audit fees, general supplies and other costs that are not specifically associated with the operations of our theatres.
Critical Accounting Policies
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S., or U.S. GAAP. As such, we are required to make certain estimates and assumptions that we believe are reasonable based upon the information available. These estimates and assumptions affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the periods presented. The significant accounting policies, which we believe are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our reported consolidated financial results, include the following:
Revenue and Expense Recognition
Revenues are recognized when admissions and concession sales are received at the box office. Other revenues primarily consist of screen advertising. Screen advertising revenues are recognized over the period that the related advertising is delivered on-screen or in-theatre. We record proceeds from the sale of gift cards and other advanced sale-type certificates in current liabilities and recognize admissions or concession revenue when a holder redeems the card or certificate. We recognize unredeemed gift cards and other advanced sale-type certificates as revenue only after such a period of time indicates, based on historical experience, the likelihood of redemption is remote, and based on applicable laws and regulations. In evaluating the likelihood of redemption, we consider the period outstanding, the level and frequency of activity, and the period of inactivity. See “Impact of Recent Accounting Developments” below.
Film rental costs are accrued based on the applicable box office receipts and either firm terms or a sliding scale formula, which are generally established prior to the opening of the film, or estimates of the final settlement rate, which occurs at the conclusion of the film run, subject to the film licensing arrangement. Under a firm terms formula, we pay the distributor a percentage of box office receipts, which reflects either an aggregate rate for the life of the film or rates that decline over the term of the run. Under a sliding scale formula, we pay a percentage of box office revenues using a pre-determined matrix that is based upon box office performance of the film. The settlement process allows for negotiation of film rental fees upon the conclusion of the film run based upon how the film performs. Estimates are based on the expected success of a film. The success of a film can typically be determined a few weeks after a film is released when initial box office performance of the film is known. If actual settlements are different than those estimates, film rental costs are adjusted at that time. Our advertising costs are expensed as incurred.
Facility lease expense is primarily a fixed cost at the theatre level as most of our facility leases require a fixed monthly minimum rent payment. Certain of our leases are subject to monthly percentage rent only, which is accrued each month based on actual revenues. Certain of our other theatres require payment of percentage rent in addition to fixed monthly rent if an annual target revenue level is achieved. Percentage rent expense is estimated and recorded for these theatres on a monthly basis if the theatre’s historical performance or forecasted performance indicates that the annual target revenue level will be reached. Once annual revenues are known, which is generally at the end of the year, the percentage rent expense is adjusted at that time. We record the fixed minimum rent payments on a straight-line basis over the lease term.
Theatre properties and equipment are depreciated using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives. In estimating the useful lives of our theatre properties and equipment, we have relied upon our experience with such assets and our historical replacement period. We periodically evaluate these estimates and assumptions and adjust them as necessary. Adjustments to the expected lives of assets are accounted for on a prospective basis through depreciation expense. Leasehold improvements for which we pay and to which we have title are amortized over the lesser of useful life or the lease term.