Sep 30, 2022

Cineworld expects sales recovery to take two more years

Cinema chain Cineworld, which earlier this month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has admitted that it does not expect ticket sales to recover to pre-pandemic levels for at least the next two years. The world's second-biggest cinema chain, which operates Regal Cinemas in the US along with brands in the UK and eastern Europe, said on Friday that admissions were "Expected to remain below pre-pandemic levels" throughout 2023 and 2024. Like its rivals, Cineworld has been hit by an exodus of customers to streaming services and a dearth of major films since the Covid-19 pandemic. The group posted revenues of $1.5bn in the six months to the end of June, a significant recovery from $293mn in the same period last year when most of its cinemas were closed because of Covid restrictions, but still about 30 per cent down on 2019 levels. Cineworld is pinning its hopes of recovery on a slate of new blockbuster films, including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water, which it said could contribute to stronger admissions figures in the fourth quarter.

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