Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Marcus Corp (NYSE:MCS)
Q3 2020 Earnings Call
Nov 3, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning, everyone and welcome to the Marcus Corporation Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. My name is Michelle, and I will be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions] We will conduct a question-and-answer session toward the end of this conference. [Operator Instructions] Joining us today are Greg Marcus, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Doug Neis, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Marcus Corporation.

At this time, I'd like to turn the program over to Mr. Neis for his opening remarks. Please go ahead, sir.

Douglas A. Neis -- Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Thank you, Michelle and good morning, everybody. Welcome to our fiscal 2020 third quarter conference call. As usual, you do know that I need to begin by stating that we plan to make a number of forward-looking on our call today, all of which we intend to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Our forward-looking statements may generally be identified by our use of words such as we believe, anticipate, expect or words of similar import.

Our forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expected, including, but not limited, to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our theater and hotels and resorts businesses, results of operations, liquidity, cash flows, financial condition, access to credit markets and ability to service our existing and future indebtedness, and the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government restrictions and social distancing requirements and the level of customer demand following the relaxation of such requirements.

Our forward-looking statements are based upon our assumptions, which are based only upon currently available information, including assumptions about our ability to manage difficulties associated with or related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the assumption that our theater closures, hotel closures and restaurant closures are not expected to be permanent or to reoccur, and the temporary and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our businesses. Listeners are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements.

Additional factors, risks and uncertainties, which could impact our ability to achieve our expectations identified in our forward-looking statements are included under the heading Forward-Looking Statements in the press release, we issued this morning announcing our fiscal 2020 third quarter results and in the Risk Factors section of our Form 10-Q that we're filing today, which you can access on the SEC's website. We'll also post our Regulation G disclosures when applicable on our website at www.marcuscorp.com.

So, with that behind us, let's begin, and I'll follow a similar format, I'm going to start by spending a few minutes briefly sharing a few numbers from our quarter with you, and I'll also discuss our balance sheet liquidity. I'll then turn the call over to Greg, who will focus his prepared remarks on where our businesses are today and what we're seeing for the near term and longer future, and we'll then open the call up for questions.

You've seen the numbers, essentially 100% of our theaters were closed for the first two months of the quarter and the 80% that we reopened for the final month of the quarter, we're only operating with a limited number of new films. As a result, after adjusting for non-recurring items, including an impairment charge, our operating income and adjusted EBITDA from this division was pretty much equal to our second quarter results, when we were completely closed.

In Hotels & Resorts segment, we had four hotels opened in the entire third quarter and three hotels reopened during portions of the quarter, all as significantly reduced occupancies. While the numbers from this division weren't great, they were much better than the second quarter when we were essentially completely closed and they were overall better than we'd expected.

As the press release notes, we did once again have several non-recurring items this quarter directly related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We incurred approximately $1.6 million of additional property closure and subsequent reopening expenses with the majority of the expenses in our Theater division. The reopening expenses this quarter related to extensive cleaning costs, supply purchases and employee training, among other items related to the reopening of selected Theater & Hotel properties and implementing new operating protocols.

We also incurred an impairment charge of nearly $800,000 this quarter related to several theater properties and an impairment charge of another $800,000 related to an investment in hotel joint venture. We included the non-GAAP reconciliation of our net loss and our adjusted EBITDA with our press release in order to show you the impact of these non-recurring items had on our reported results.

Our effective income tax rate was 26.9% during the third quarter and 37.3% for the first three quarters of the year. As we discussed last quarter, our year-to-date fiscal 2020 income tax benefit was favorably impacted by an adjustment of approximately $17.4 million resulting from several accounting method changes and the March 27, 2020 signing of the CARES Act. One of the provisions of the CARES Act specifically designed to help otherwise healthy tax paying companies like us that were significantly impacted by the COVDI-19 pandemic, allows our 2019 and 2020 taxable losses to be carried back to prior fiscal years, during which our federal income tax rate was 35% compared to the current statutory federal income tax rate of 21%.

Excluding this favorable adjustment to income tax benefit, our effective income tax rate for the first three quarters of fiscal 2020 was 24.5%. We anticipate that our effective income tax rate for the remaining quarter fiscal 2020 may be in the 28%, 29% range due to an expected taxable loss during fiscal 2020 that will continue to allow us to carry back a portion of the loss for years that had a 35% federal income tax rate. Of course, our actual fiscal 2020 effective income tax rate may be different from our estimated quarterly rates depending upon actual facts and circumstances.

Shifting gears away from the earnings statement just for a moment, our total cash capital expenditures during the first three quarters of fiscal 2020 totaled approximately $19 million compared to approximately $80 million last year, which included the cash component of the Movie Tavern acquisition. Most of this year's dollars were spent in the Theater division on several projects that we started during the first quarter. We only spent about $2.8 million during the third quarter. We continue to have most future capital expenditures on hold for the time being.

Now since the majority of our Theater & Hotel properties were open for at least a portions of the reported quarter, I'm going to provide some financial comments on our operations for the third quarter and first three quarters beginning with theaters. Now our overall attendance was down over 95% compared to the prior year third quarter because we were closed for two of the three months, attendance at comparable theaters, same theaters opened and same weeks opened, was down approximately 85%.

Our average admission price at our comparable theaters during the weeks we were opened increased 0.6% during the third quarter and 2% for the first three quarters of fiscal 2020 compared to the prior year period. Our average admission price was unfavorably impacted by the fact that we continue to charge only $5 for older library film product and we only apply our regular pricing to new films. We are very pleased to report an increase in our average concession and food and beverage revenues per person at our comparable theaters of 28% for the third quarter, and 7.2% for the first three quarters of fiscal 2020.

Now our investments in non-traditional food and beverage outlets continue to contribute to higher per capita spending, but there were other factors in the play this quarter that likely contributed to the large percentage increase. We've always believed that long lines at the concession stand can result in some customers choosing the skip the lines and that by concessions. The reality is that with reduced attendance lines are not long, and that has likely contributed to our higher per capita revenues.

We also believe that the emphasis we are placing an encouraging guests to purchase their concessions and food and beverage ahead of time either online or using our mobile app is also contributing to our increased per capita revenues. While the first reason will eventually go away as attendance increases. The second reason is the potential will be long lasting, which is very encouraging. Finally, I'll point out that we were not able to compare our box office revenues limited as they were to the industry this quarter as data provided to Rentrak, the box office reporting service was also very limited, and not useful for accurate comparisons.

Shifting to our Hotels & Resorts division, our total revenue per available room or RevPAR for our seven comparable owned hotels for the third quarter and first three quarters decreased 58.2% during the third quarter and 44.3% during the first three quarters of fiscal 2020 compared to the last year's same periods. Now to be clear, this math only includes the weeks that the various hotels were opened because as I mentioned three of our hotels were reopened for only portions of fiscal 2020 third quarter. The Saint Kate was not opened during the third quarter at all and thus was not included in these results.

Now according the data received from Smith Travel Research and compiled by us in order to compare our fiscal quarter results, comparable upper upscale hotels throughout the United States experienced a decrease in RevPar of 67.1% during our fiscal 2020 third quarter and were down 59.7% year-to-date. Meanwhile, competitive hotels in our collective markets experienced a decrease in RevPar of 71.4% and 68%, respectively, during our third quarter and first three quarters. Thus our hotels outperformed both the industry and our competitive sets during both the third quarter and first three quarters of fiscal 2020.

Breaking out the numbers for all seven of our open hotels more specifically, our fiscal 2020 third quarter overall RevPAR decreased was due to an overall occupancy rate decrease of 46.4 percentage points, and a 5.3% decrease in our average daily rate or ADR. Year-to-date, our fiscal 2020 first three quarters overall RevPAR increase -- or decrease was due to an overall occupancy rate decrease of 28.6% -- 28.6 percentage points and a 10.2% decrease in our ADR. Our third quarter occupancy rate for our seven comparable hotels for the weeks that they were opened was 36.6%.

Finally, before I turn the call over to Greg, let me also briefly comment on our balance sheet and liquidity position. I will remind you once again that we entered this crisis from a position of strength. Our debt-to-capitalization ratio at the end of 2019 was a very modest 26%. Even after reporting the two worst quarters we've ever experienced in our 85-year history, our net debt-to-capitalization ratio at the end of the third quarter was still a very low 35%. Of course, we also own the underlying real estate for seven of our company-owned hotels in the majority of our theaters, representing over 60% of our screens and even larger percentage of our revenues and cash flow, thereby reducing our monthly fixed lease payments. This is a significant advantage for our company relative to our peers, as it keeps our monthly fixed lease payments relatively low and provide significant underlying credit support for our balance sheet.

We also shared with you last quarter that we filed our income tax refunds of $37.4 million in early August, with the primary benefit derived from the accounting method changes, I referenced earlier. And the new rules for qualified improvement property and net operating loss carry bags that came out of the CARES Act. I'm pleased to tell you that we've received approximately $31 million of those refunds in October after the end of the third quarter, with an additional $6 million expected soon. We also expect to apply a significant portion of our anticipated tax loss to be incurred in fiscal 2020 to prior year income, which may also result in a refund that we expect may approximate $21 million in fiscal 2021, when our fiscal 2020 tax return is filed, with possible tax loss carry-forwards that may be used in future years as well.

You'll also note that we begun reporting assets held for sale on our balance sheet, primarily -- related primarily to the book value of surplus real estate that we believe will monetized during the next 12 months now. Now we actually have significantly more real estate that we have the potential to monetize in the next 12 months to 18 months. But our accounting policy is to only classify as assets for sale, the book value of assets that we actually have letters of intent or contracts to sell in place. We'll continue to update this number in our balance sheet in future quarters as we make additional progress in our efforts to monetize surplus real estate. We're not going to speculate on what the possible sale proceeds might end up being, but as the potential to be in the tens of millions of dollars, depending upon the strength of the real estate market and how active we might choose to be.

As we have previously reported in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we've been working to preserve cash and ensure sufficient liquidity to endure the impacts of the global crisis even if prolonged. As you know, on April 29, 2020 we amended our existing credit agreement and issued a new $90.8 million, 364-day senior term loan A to further support our already strong balance sheet. On September 22, we extended the maturity date of the term loan to September in 2021 amended our debt covenants and issued $100.05 million in convertible senior notes. We used a portion of the proceeds from this issuance to purchase capped call transactions that effectively increase the conversion rate of the convertible senior notes from 22.5% to 100%, significantly reducing potential dilution related to the convertibles. Thus, after deducting cost of the debt issuance, we added an additional $78.6 million in liquidity to our balance sheet.

We use the net proceeds from the convertible issuance to pay down revolver borrowings under our credit agreement. As a result, as of September 24, 2020, we had cash and revolving credit availability of over $218 million and that's not counting the $31 million of income tax refunds received in October. So you can do the math. Our adjusted EBITDA during the second quarter when we were essentially completely closed was a negative $30 million and our adjusted EBITDA during the third quarter was a negative $26 million. Even when you add interest expense to that number, with a combined nearly $250 million in cash and revolving credit availability when you add in the October income tax refunds received, plus future income tax refunds remaining in 2020 and future potential income tax refunds in 2021, you can see why we indicate that we believe the additional financing positions us to continue to sustain our operations throughout fiscal 2021, even if our properties continue to generate significantly reduced revenues or have to reclose for a period due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And we'll continue to pursue additional opportunities to fortify our balance sheet and reinforce our liquidity in the future, that will include seeking additional government support as appropriate. For example, we're very pleased to see the States of Wisconsin and Nebraska recently recognized the need to support those businesses, most impacted by the pandemic and introduced grant programs that include the theater and hotel industries. Our trade groups will continue to lobby for additional support at the federal level as well.

With that, I'll now turn the call over to Greg.

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Doug. I'm going to begin my remarks where Doug left off. Discussing our balance sheet. This is my first chance to comment on the actions we took in late September to further strengthen our balance sheet and liquidity and I think it would be helpful to explain our thinking. We have an 85-year history of prudently managing our balance sheet. As Doug shared earlier, we entered this crisis from a position of strength with a debt to capitalization ratio of 26%. That conservative approach to our balance sheet has proved to be particularly important during this current environment.

We always have been and will continue to be thoughtful and opportunistic when managing our balance sheet. Immediately upon the onset of the pandemic, we went to our banks and increased our liquidity via a 364-day term loan, closing on that financing in April 2020. With a significant number of unknowns in those first months of the pandemic, we believe adding this short-term borrowing was the prudent thing to do. But we now have the majority of our theaters and hotels opened, there remains uncertainty regarding the pace of the recovery.

We continue to be confident that both our businesses will recover. But our thinking always has been and always will be long-term, focused. With that long-term focus in mind, we also have always had the philosophy with our debt portfolio should match our asset base. Our assets consist primarily of fixed and long-lived assets. And thus, we've always tried to have a significant portion of our debt fixed and long as well. With the 364-day term loan scheduled to mature in April 21, we are presented with an opportunity to amend our current bank agreements, extend our term loan by another five months and adjust our covenants to provide for future near-term and medium-term uncertainty in our businesses.

A key component of amending our bank agreements was opportunistically raising attractive capital that would ultimately replace the short-term term loan. With that in mind, we believe the issuance of convertible unsecured notes was the most attractive capital raising alternative at that time and had the following advantages. We can effectively replace short-term borrowings with five-year junior capital. Five years is a long time and with minimal debt maturities before 2025, it has given us a lot of flexibility and time for the recovery to take hold.

Cash interest payments will be significantly lower than other long-term options. We were able to size the issuance appropriately, particularly for a company our size. As an example, high yield debt, another long-term option many borrowers, including some of our peers have availed themselves of typically requires a minimum sizing $300 million range. But purchasing the cap call in conjunction with our issuance, we were able to effectively increase the strike price of the convertible from 22.5% of our closing stock price to 100% of our closing stock price, significantly reducing any dilution concerns that would typically arise from a convertible issuance.

In addition, we have the option to settle these notes at maturity with cash, equity or a combination thereof, providing the further ability to reduce any actual dilution of maturity. I think those last two points are particularly important and may not have been completely understood by the market. While we have the option of settling the convertible notes at maturity in any combination of cash and/or stock. It is our stated intend to settle the principal amount of the convertible notes in cash and only settle any of the in-the-money portion of the notes with stock.

Our capped call transactions effectively increased the strike price of the convertible notes to $17.98 -- $18 almost which significantly reduces the potential dilution arising from these notes. We've included a table in our latest investor presentation, which shows what the actual dilution would be depending upon our actual share price at maturity five years from now, building in the impact of the cap calls and the assumption that we pay to principal in cash. For example, at a $20 future stock price dilution is estimated to be only approximately 3% and a $25 future price dilution claims to a very modest 8.2% level. And if the price is higher than that, while the dilution would increase. I think we would all agree that everyone would be pretty happy. You can find this presentation in the Investor Relations section of our website at www.marcuscorp.com. You can be confident that we will continue to prudently manage our balance sheet in the future in order that not only will we come out of this current environment in a strong position, but that we will also be in a position to grow and thrive once more in the years ahead.

With that, I'll turn my attention to our operating businesses, focusing my remarks and where we are today. What we have done to date and are continuing to do to manage through this crisis and what some of our plans are for the future. As you can imagine, there are a lot of unknowns yet about what the future months will look like. So our plans will continue to evolve as the situation unfolds. I said this last quarter, but it is worth repeating in this rapidly changing truly unprecedented environment there was one thing that is not changed and will not change. Our priority as it has been throughout our history is the safety and well-being of our associates, customers, and communities. This is guided everything we've done so far and will guide us in the weeks and months ahead as well.

I continue to be thankful for our experienced and dedicated leadership team throughout our organization. They continue to work day and night developing and executing strategies that we believe will get us through this crisis and put us in a strong position for continued growth over the long term. And as we have brought, many of our associates back they too have worked extremely hard under very difficult circumstances in order to continue to provide an outstanding experience for our guests. I am so proud of each and every one of our associates.

So let's start with our hotels, since they are further along in the reopening process. Doug shared some of the numbers with you, including the fact that the data suggests, we outperformed both the industry and our competitive sets this quarter. It certainly wasn't a good quarter from any historical sense, but frankly, it was better than we expected when we first started reopening our hotels with very little advanced bookings in place. As our press release notes, the vast majority of our customers this quarter came from the drive to leisure market. It wasn't that we didn't have any group business. As the summer unfolded, we did have weddings at several locations and return of Major League Baseball helped our Pfister hotel. But the majority of our customers were transient leisure customers, who were just looking to get away and change their scenary after months of staying home.

As a result, not surprising, week end business was the strongest and properties like the Geneva Resort & Spa and Timber Ridge Lodge performed the best among our hotels, as they are well suited for families looking to get away. Golf revenues at the Grand Geneva for example were actually higher than they were last year. And overall, 37% occupancy rate is nothing to get too excited about compared to what we are used to during our third quarter. But it's certainly justified our decision to reopen our hotels. As we shared with you last quarter in many ways reopening our hotels was a mathematical exercise.

We made the bet, we'd be better off opened and closed and proved to be a good bet. We were particularly pleased that our ADR held relatively strong during the quarter. Admittedly, it's hard not to wonder what the quarter might have been like in non-COVID world with the Democratic National Convention in the Ryder Cup, but it was not to be. It also is important to note that the customer response to our new operating protocols has been very positive. Once again, I can't say enough about the wonderful job all our hotel associates have done as we welcome guests back to our properties.

We're also particularly pleased with our recent announcement that Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel is reopening this week. We reopened the first floor common areas including the bar and Pizza restaurant in late July and now we're reopening the rooms. This amazing hotel is earned an incredible number of awards since it opened last summer, including most recently being named the number six top hotel in the Midwest and the top hotel in Milwaukee, by Conde Nast Readers. It's fair to say, it is Milwaukee's most recognized hotel, with the Saint Kate reopening all eight of our company-owned hotels will be opened.

Looking to future periods, overall occupancy in the US has slowed -- has slowly increased since the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Higher and hotels, like the ones we generally operate have been impacted more than lower-end hotels. Most current demand continues to come from the drive to leisure segment, most organizations implement to travel bans at the onset of the pandemic, and are currently only allowing the essential travel, which will likely limit business travel in the near term. Our company-owned hotels have experienced a significant decrease in group bookings for the remainder of fiscal 2020 compared to the same period last year.

As of the date of this report, our group room revenue bookings for fiscal 2021 commonly referred to in the Hotels & Resorts industry as group pace is running significantly behind where we were last year at this time for fiscal 2020. And a large portion of that decline is because last year's group bookings included bookings in anticipation of Milwaukee hosting the DNC, Democratic National Convention in July 2020. Banquet and catering revenue pace for fiscal 2021 is also running behind where we were last year at this time for fiscal 2020, but not as much as group room revenue is due in part to increases in weeding bookings.

Many of our canceled group bookings due to COVID-19 are rebookings for future dates. Excluding one-time events that could not rebooked for future dates, such as those connected to the DNC. However, some group bookings for the first half of fiscal 2021 have subsequently canceled or postponed their event and we cannot predict to what extent any of our hotel bookings will be canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19 or otherwise. We were pleased to see the Ryder Cup rescheduled for 2021 and it is contributing to our 2021 group pace.

Looking further out, the Wisconsin district just approved financing for the expansion of its convention center here in Milwaukee. The expansion is currently expected to be completed in late 23 -- 2023 or early 2024. Forecasting what future RevPAR growth or decline will be during the next 18 months to 24 months is very difficult at this time. The non-group booking arrival is very short, with most bookings occurring within three days of arrival, making even short-term forecast of future RevPAR growth very difficult.

Hotel revenues have historically tracked very closely with traditional macroeconomic statistics, such as the gross domestic product. So we will be monitoring the economic environment very closely. After past shocks to the system, such as 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, hotel demand took longer to recover than other components of the economy. Conversely, we now anticipate that hotel supply growth will be limited for the foreseeable future, which can be beneficial for our existing hotels. Most industry experts believe the pace of recovery will be steady, but relatively slow.

We continue to believe it will be very important to have our marketing message focus on the health and safety of our associates and guests. Overall, we generally expect our revenue trends to track or exceed the overall industry trends for our segment of the industry, particularly in our respective markets. Regardless of how this unfolds, I am confident that Hotel division President, Michael Evans and his outstanding team will effectively manage our hotel operations during these turbulent times. Our associates are working tirelessly so that every guest can rest easy knowing that they are receiving the highest standards of service and cleanliness, while still enjoying the best our award winning hotels and resorts have to offer.

So let's shift to our Theater division. Doug went over the numbers with you. And since we were closed for the majority of the quarter, the numbers are pretty similar to the second quarter obviously challenging. In the midst of this unique time, however, there were some encouraging signs during the quarter that bode well for us in future periods. First off, we're thrilled with our customer reaction to the new protocols we put in place. To get 96% of a group of people to agree on anything is virtually impossible these days. If that is what percentage of our first loyalty members told us, they had a safe and comfortable experience at our theaters. All the credit goes to our leadership team for developing smart and effective new operating protocols and to our managers and theater associates for executing on them and providing a great experience for our guests.

We expect policies and guidelines will continue to evolve the time and will be assessed and updated on an ongoing basis. Our goal continues to be to build consumer confidence and trust as quickly as possible. We know it is a process, but word-of-mouth will help and we're off to a good start. We also didn't know for sure what customers' behavior -- what customer behavior would be once they arrived, would they adapt to the new protocols, would they use our industry-leading technology to order more of their concessions and food and beverage online, would they even by concessions? The answer to these questions was a resounding, yes. And we were very pleased with the increases we experienced in our concession revenues per person.

As our press releases noted, we reopened 80% of our theaters by August 28 and time for several new films including Tenet on Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, with restriction still in place in New York and California, in particular, not long afterwards studios started changing the new release schedule once again. Thus like I mentioned in my hotel remarks, it once again became a little bit of a math exercise. We want to be open. But being open has a certain level of fixed costs associated with it. So we also don't want to lose more money being opened and closed. As a result, we made the difficult decision to reclose 17 theaters in early October and reduced our operating hours and operating days at our remaining open theaters. Right now, our theaters are open on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays which better aligns with current demand.

The industry received some good news a couple of weeks ago when it was announced the New York State would begin reopening theaters, that allowed us to reopen our movie theater -- our Movie Tavern locations in Syracuse. And as an indication of pent-up demand that location was the number one theater in the country for the new film Honest Thief when it first reopened. We've since reopened three theaters in Nebraska as well meaning that as I speak to you today, 59 theaters opened representing approximately 66% of our circuit.

So now it really comes down to two interrelated topics, both necessary to increase customer demand for going to the movies. First and foremost, we need new films to be released. We've seen first-hand that when new films come out our attendance increases. And in fact, when we pulled our guests, our loyalty club 60% of them said the reason they weren't coming because there was, there were no movies to see. Attendance in the last couple of weeks has been the best we've experienced since the first two weeks of reopening and is not a coincidence that they coincide with the fact that we are showing an increased number of new films, as well as an increased variety of films shown.

We do best when all the film genres are represented. We continue to have regular conversations with all our studio partners regarding the need for them to commit to film release dates and continue to release new films theatrically. Having said that, we also need the country on an incremental basis to get the pandemic under control, not only will that increase consumer willingness to go to the movies, but it will further encourage the studios to follow through and release their films with confidence that there will be a willing audience ready to attend and see their content, the way it was meant to be seen.

It is particularly heartening to take a look at what is going on in Asia. The Chinese box office is coming back. And a recent new release in Japan just shattered the record for the biggest opening in Japanese history after initially struggling to attract audiences. It was an anime film. It did $44 million in its first weekend that compared to give you an idea of the relative performance to Frozen 2, which did $30 million. So it was a significant outperformance.

There are multiple films still scheduled to be released during the remaining two months of the year that may generate substantial box office interest. We listed some of those films in our press release. The anticipated film slate for 2021, which will also now include multiple films originally scheduled for 2020 is currently expected to be very strong. And despite some continued experimentation with alternative releasing strategies, which we believe are generally directly -- are generally directly related to the current COVID-19 environment, the fact remains, the vast majority of films have been delayed to future periods.

Clear indication in our view of the importance of the theatrical experience for the studios they seek to monetize their content. Just as we've had to adapt our plans in the recent months, we recognized that we will need to be prepared for new challenges and opportunities in the weeks and months ahead. Well, I won't share the exact numbers, when we first began reopening theaters, we did the math and we believed -- we needed a certain attendance level in order to perform better than being closed.

As we manage through the past few months, we found additional ways to reduce fixed cost and operate at lower levels of attendance. In other words, our math has improved and we have 66% of our theaters opened today because we think it is better to be open, better for the customer sake, better for the associates sake and better for the overall business sake. And of course, we have an advantage that Doug alluded to earlier, we own the majority of our theaters, reducing our monthly fixed costs and making it easier for us to stay opened.

There is always the possibility of the film's schedule could change again or that we could see renewed restrictions from select local or state jurisdictions. But I am certain that Rolando Rodriguez and his incredibly talented team will be prepared to adapt and manage us through this reopening process and ultimately position us to once again lead the industry into what we believe will be a very bright future. And while I'm on it, I want to publicly congratulate Rolando on recently being elected, Chairman of the Board for our industry trade group, the National Association of Theater Owners or NATO. It is a tremendous honor for Rolando and a recognition for his leadership, not only for us, but for the entire industry.

In conclusion, in this continually changing environment you can rest assured that we are constantly reviewing the situation in both our businesses and making changes to our plans as warranted. A company is built for challenging times like this. Our leadership team, managers and associates are stepped up to the challenge in ways that go way above and beyond and for that we are most grateful. We also continue to appreciate the confidence and support of our lenders in the investment community during this challenging time and always.

With that, at this time, Doug and I will be happy to open the call up for any questions you may have.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] We'll go to our first question from Eric Wold with B. Riley Securities. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Eric Wold -- B. Riley Securities -- Analyst

Thank you. Good morning, guys.

Douglas A. Neis -- Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Hey, Eric.

Eric Wold -- B. Riley Securities -- Analyst

Couple of a questions. I guess one on the theaters and one on the hotel side. Greg, you just mentioned about the theaters, that you identified certain fixed cost side that you can reduce to bring down that breakeven point. I know you're not going to say what that breakeven point is, but can you at least identify what those fixed costs were? Are those more likely to be short-term or can they be permanent?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Those member breakeven to being close, so I'll just make sure that we're just talking about the same thing. If they're looking at everything throughout the Board, first of all, just -- and some of it, when I say temporary some of the costs were temporary. To get people for example to get people accustomed to the environment, we were a little -- we were, I would say, heavy on some of the labor to get people to -- we had greeters, people to show people, OK, how do you operate in this new environment,, I mean, literally.

I mean, I have to tell you how detail we were and our team was and I give them such credit. We were -- you could use your foot to open the door because we've got these little pedals that sort of sit on the bottom of the door that -- that it's like a clamp, and you put your foot down on it, you can pull the door from your foots, you don't have to touch the door. I mean it's that level of detail. So to have people to explain how to order online, and order your tickets online and to promote that. So some of that then got cut back, that was a piece of it.

And then just adjusting to the -- learning to adjust to what the volume is, in the theater with our processes. And then something -- and then also, but it's throughout the organization. We've asked our teams at the corporate level to cut back as well and to be -- we've been very thoughtful about every dollar that we spend and it hasn't been easy. And again to Rolando and the team, I thank them, this has been a huge challenge. They exemplify what leadership is. And so some of that -- look at -- as we know -- as we train to run the marathon, we've gotten in better shape and I think some of that will be permanent in the end and how we operate.

And I do think again too, one of the advantages of the ability to move people to online ordering. Something we learned a long time. This is benefit of being in multiple business lines or being in hotel business. I heard many years ago and they talked about how getting customers to make their own reservations in hotels, which we now do on your phone and on your computer was a huge benefit because save them a ton of money from them. I'm going to call up for reservation center where a human had to do that. We actually moved the work to the customer as opposed to someone they employed to do that.

Same thing in the theaters, if you can get people to order tickets online and to order their concessions online, although, it's a very quick transaction to type -- to type in somebody's order, you put in thousands of transactions and those that time adds up. And so, I think that there will be savings that come throughout that we see at the other side of this. It's a mixture of things.

Eric Wold -- B. Riley Securities -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you. And then on the hotel side, can you talk about the decision to reopen Saint Kate's rooms something we -- I know in the past, you've talked about you'd only open a hotel, if it was, if it would lose less cash or generate more cash than being closed, is that the case here without potentially drawing away from the two other properties in Milwaukee, or is this more a move kind of just to prime that property to get it ready for when business has return?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think you read my mind exactly, Eric, it was -- you are exactly on point too. It was, -- I don't know, how -- we don't know how probably -- there is no advance bookings. We've had so many -- this is such a special hotel it's so interesting. I mean to the -- when I go back to -- when we first opened the Saint Kate, we were trying -- I don't I Google and we were getting here and man this hotel has fantastic. It's so unique and so interesting and so amazing.

And so I go on Google and I Googled best hotels in Milwaukee, and it wouldn't show up and I was, like, we just haven't been around long enough to be on the list. Well, now we are now on the lists. And that Conde Nast award was such a -- I thought such an important award among all the others. We've got not just so many, we are one of the -- the most recognized hotel in Milwaukee for sure. And frankly, probably one of the more recognised hotels in the country, if you sort of added up. That we thought it was important to have rooms open.

Now one of the advantages of being in Milwaukee is we're able to lever so management across the hotels. And so the incremental cost of being open isn't very much, we may shift a little bit of business. I think you're exactly right about that but we want to be able -- it's hard to tell one of the best hotels in town and then not be available to get.

Eric Wold -- B. Riley Securities -- Analyst

Got it. And then just a last question on the hotels. What are you seeing with competitive ADRs in the markets you're in. And then, what have you done in response to those? Are you being flexible at all? Or are you mostly really holding your own?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I would -- look, it's market dependent and ADRs are down in lots of places where we could -- where there is demand, we were able to hold ADRs in some areas as well. And so it just depends on what's going on and mix of business and we've shifted business in different -- we've got some lower rated business that we moved around. So I would say, I'd give it a B on, in terms of people not going completely racing to the bottom, because I know that there is not a lot of -- there is probably not a ton of elasticity. Look, if they want to attract people, but people that are traveling are just going to travel so.

Eric Wold -- B. Riley Securities -- Analyst

Perfect. Thanks, Greg.

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Jim Goss with Barrington Research. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

Okay. Good morning. Over the past several years I felt the industry -- the theatrical industry has addressed the footprints issue by cutting seats with three seating rather than fewer screens. At this stage with the pandemic contributing, do you think there will be any cut in the number of screens in the industry? And if so, how would you look at the impact potentially in your competitive position or even your M&A potential given that you're in a lot of smaller markets where maybe some of those theaters might be more at risk?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I do think, Jim, there will be a shrinking of the theater footprint. I think that the odds are that there will be players who will have to reorganize. And it's interesting, I think it's important for people to remember, realization doesn't mean they're going away. Again, you got to take a little bit more than a 14 second outlook. And it's hard for the average lay person understand, that I know you understand that. But as a company they reorganized they're going to -- frankly, the investors are already in there. They've been jockeying for position in their debt for months and months and months. If they're waiting for the loan, they've been loaning to own. They're going to end up owning these and they're going to end. And then, if you look, believe in the long-term health of the business, which I do, I believe people want to be together, people want to go to the movies, they are itching to get out, right now, I think it's, we know that theatrical as a significant revenue stream for a lot of these companies. Frankly, societally I think it's important.

I mean, we always talk about the communal experience and we do, we talk about it being good for our -- being good -- because customers enjoy being with other people, but even beyond that society, society is only strong as it's common bonds of trust. And I somehow think that society would prefer to have people of different backgrounds and thoughts altogether in a room, rather than sitting at home alone in their silo thinking about just what they believe. And so I think societally it's good. So I believe again in the long run -- the long run -- the future of the theatrical. But that being said, as they rationalize their footprints, some of these smaller theaters will go away. Now look at, in the small towns that we're in, probably we may be the only player in a small town. Now we are competitor with a less theater, let's say, we didn't invest in these theaters. It's time for them to go away, they given back the landlord, nobody comes back to take them. The landlords -- and these, some of these obsolete theaters go away, a customer who want to come to theater will travel further and they will probably come to some of our theaters, so that will be helpful from a long run as well.

As for bigger theaters frankly, we've been thinking for a long time about if we had too many screens and what are other uses for, then what other kinds of group uses could there be in. I don't know where that will happen as well, but there'll be some of that. And in markets where there is been some overbuilding, some of those theaters are going to disappear. And then the people who are still around will benefit from those customers. We've seen lots of industries. We think about the car industry in the Great Recession and I always call the not so Great Recession. The guys who were able to get through it ended up really doing very well because there was a thinning out of a lot of car dealers. And so I don't know that will be as dramatic as that with our industry, but I think there will be some of them.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

Okay. So the overall number of the 40,000 or 43,000 whatever the figure is right now, you don't think will materially change?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

No. I do think it's going to decline. I do think it will decline. I can't put my finger on what it will be, but I do think it will shrink.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

Okay. The other day...

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

But Jim, let me just make one other point on that. No one should draw a percentage of revenue to the theaters as a straight-line depreciation -- the straight line mathematical exercise. If a certain percentage of those theaters go away, it's a very probably small percentage of overall revenue, because there are the smaller obsolete theaters.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

That's a good point too. Yesterday, you had an announcement of a -- maybe an increased link with Comscore. I wonder if you could talk about that a little bit. Are you somewhat outsourcing some of your theater management operations or just engaging them and certain aspects that they do maybe to a greater extent? I'm just wondering how this -- how we should read into this announcement that you made...

Douglas A. Neis -- Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

I think Comscore wanted to promote that we were their customer.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

Okay. Fair enough.

Douglas A. Neis -- Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Jim, they've got a very good product that we use at the theater level -- theater management system, and so that's what it is. I don't think there's any larger issue other than that, it's very good technology that we're pleased to continue to use and expand our usage of.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

Okay. Maybe lastly, the surplus real estate issue, you mentioned and you said potentially tens of millions of dollars that sort of thing. What would probably be the decision driver in doing something with regard to some of this real estate and might there be property swaps that might benefit you the hotel or theater side that you might consider rather than monetizing them directly?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well I would break that two things. One is going to be demand. Now we -- because we don't have to fire sale of these properties, again that's the most important point. It's really got something where frankly it was good to get our focus on what we have there. And so to that focus now is really get us, let's make sure that we maximize we've got going on. That being said, we don't need to fire sale at anybody. And so, but the increased focus paying the devotion -- taking our resources and devoting and making that happen is, I do believe important. Now that's surplus real estate, it's not something we would trade. Now would we trade real estate? Yeah, sure. In certain markets if it make sense, we would be open to that. There is nothing of that happening right this second and I don't think until the world settles down and stuff like that happen, but it's not unheard.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

Typically, there is tax ramification, if you do a property swap and are both the hotel and the theatrical parts of your business in the same area in terms of that tax issue?

Douglas A. Neis -- Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Real estate is real estate, when it comes to that particular issue, Jim. So yes, if you sell real estate and buy real estate, essentially, I mean the trade as you kind of referring it to, then it does. You got to do it right, but in the certain qualifications, but yes, it does ultimately qualify for the 1031 treatment that you're -- I think you're referring to.

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

All right. Thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our next question comes from the line of Mike Hickey with The Benchmark Company. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Mike Hickey -- The Benchmark Company -- Analyst

Hey, Greg, Doug. Good morning, guys. Hey, I guess, congrats on the hotel side for the quarter, definitely, a pretty good performance makes sense to be open. But looking at fourth quarter, it looks like sort of the virus influence sort of crept up in some of the states where you have concentration of some your business units, Wisconsin, in particular where you own five of your hotels. And I think your screen count is around 27%. So just curious what you're seeing in the fourth quarter in terms of sort of consumer behavior under sort of that spike in infections that you're seeing in Wisconsin and other key states?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, it's been a little hard to tell right now, what's -- look at it, I think, our businesses would typically slow down in the fourth quarter. Hard to know, I mean, it's interesting, I looked at -- I would say, which -- I looked at the list yesterday of some of our theaters and how they were doing it. I looked individually on an attendance level. I have looked at some of the areas that have been the hardest hit, and yet those theaters or not necessarily among the lowest performing theaters. Do you think there would be a natural correlation to that. At the end of the day, it does talk about on theater side about what people feel is of, all the indoor things that could be going on that theaters are among the safest things and all the indoor, because of the nature of what you do -- it doesn't intuitively feel that way until you think about it.

And we've talked about this before, but the intuition is theater concerts, live theater, there sort of -- they sort of go to that direction. Would you go out eat, sure, I got to eat, someone would say. But in a restaurant and then properly restaurants can be safe environments too, but just I know, if you're going to compare relative environments. And theater, you go in, you don't face all one direction you don't talk to anybody. You don't -- you have a mask on, why should I do have some concessions.Your socially distant from everybody, the fact that we have recliners keeps you 7 feet deep between seats and we see checkerboard and you have 6 feet between you and the people to your side. So -- because of all the things that we've -- when you order online, and the low to no contact, all the things that we've been putting in place. And people are learning about at it. The people that are interested are starting to hear it's -- there is a comfortable and safe environment and as that our customers it's helpful to have that and so again more product would be cause more people to talk about it.

But, yeah, no, I mean I think that we have to be sensitive to what might happen with the virus and what's going on and -- but I do think that if they do start to -- there will be attention focused on it, post-election. And hopefully, then it's a short intense attack at what's going on. And then because we've learned from experience, and then we get the control and start to move back into a better place.

Mike Hickey -- The Benchmark Company -- Analyst

Did you mention what you're seeing in the hotels, in terms of sort of recent trends on the virus, I missed that sorry if I managing couple of things?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think it's still sort of hard for us to tell. I didn't really -- because we're seeing is, has been what we've been seeing sort of all fall, which is, it gets relatively quiet during the week. And it's again this could -- the person driving this is consumer leisure. And then, it gets stronger during the weekends. And then, for example, like Geneva right now, we're in a bit of a lull because -- again, hard to tell, it was Halloween. So that's one thing that's going -- can't look at one weekend, but even more generally, we're sort of in between golf and before ski season. And so, but once we get some snow and get some skiing and it gets colder and it starting colder except for this. We know that should be good for Lake Geneva on the weekends. And so, again, I do think that as the -- that there is a heats up, it's fair to say, let's watch what's going on. We don't have any insight to it yet, but it's a fair concern, but again I think that it will get attacked. And then we'll get moving again.

Mike Hickey -- The Benchmark Company -- Analyst

Okay. On the leisure side, I mean normally your fourth quarter and first quarter, I think are sort of low occupancy quarters just given the lovely winners you have there Wisconsin. Yeah. But do you think it might be different over the next couple of quarters, just given how constrained are summer months have been? And how are you doing, I know you're pretty creative like Geneva and other properties in terms of promotions and special offers. Are your doing new sort of incentives that could bring people on the leisure side more than normal in the fourth quarter and first quarter?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Our teams have been, -- I'll give such credit Michael and the team, they've been unbelievably responsive they trying to come up with ideas for how to drive it, look it. I think, even as you -- we're all seeing it. This is -- we're not in a great period where we're trying to just make the best of that we have here. We're trying to make a little lemonade. And so I'm not sure the dial is going to get moved generally huge in either direction. But that being said, they've -- we've been working on promotion. Like this week all of a sudden, it's 60 here and they're very quickly getting out to market to people, hey, come play golf, the weather is beautiful. And so they move very quickly on it.

But other things marketing it as a quick getaway, marketing staycations, marketing, the idea of -- if your kids are remote, if you are remote, everything you're doing is remote, come and stay at our hotels, come to -- because -- and we've set up, like Lake Geneva, we've got the ability to help them with learnings, set up for tutoring and to take advantage and say, if you're stuck at home and nobody is going anywhere, you may as well come and have a change of environment and come to where we are and come to have -- come to where you can be outdoors and enjoy all the amenities that we have that you could enjoy safely. So the teams have been very creative and coming up with ideas to try and take care of -- to do just that.

Mike Hickey -- The Benchmark Company -- Analyst

The last question you touched on it a bit, but it looks like we had at least one distressed seller potentially in the market in the US. On the theater side, I'm sure there's a lot of them. And of course, when does that obvious you to get a pretty good discount on the asset sale. Just sort of wondering your motivation to be a buyer here or is it just still too uncertain for operating environment to be opportunistic?

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think it's going to depend on the situation, there is nothing right this second. I think some of the opportunity for a company like ours, will be -- as people are rationalizing their footprints to potentially pickup theaters from -- with landlords and cut deals that are -- they look different than we've been cutting in the past. To say look at landlord you might be getting offered something very low. We would be able to come in and maybe we're going to be partners. We've done deals of that, if you go back in the history of the company, which by the way, it's our 85th anniversary, we celebrated on Sunday and we're celebrating this week. But my grandfather, I know one of the ways, he built the business after TV came along. So let's talk about the fact that this business doesn't do or some significant shocks. That the -- and it endures keyword being endure. He went around to people who were getting theaters back and saying, look, we're going be partners and we'll bring, and because it's going to come back at some level, and he was right. And so I think there could be opportunities like that as we look forward and we will be focused on trying to take care of do that. And then looking at other opportunities with people who own things who need good management teams. We have that, we certainly -- that we have a great team that understands this business.

Mike Hickey -- The Benchmark Company -- Analyst

All right. Sounds good, guys. Thanks, Greg. Take care.

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Mike.

Operator

Thank you. At this time, it appears there are no other questions. I'd like to turn the call back to Mr. Neis for any additional or closing comments.

Douglas A. Neis -- Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Well, thank you everybody. Thank you for joining us once again today. We do look forward to talking to you once again in early 2021 when we released our fiscal 2020 fourth quarter and year-end results, until then thank you. Have a great day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 58 minutes

Call participants:

Douglas A. Neis -- Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Gregory S. Marcus -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Eric Wold -- B. Riley Securities -- Analyst

Jim Goss -- Barrington Research -- Analyst

Mike Hickey -- The Benchmark Company -- Analyst

More MCS analysis

All earnings call transcripts

AlphaStreet Logo

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.