Cinema operators have been waiting for this moment for a long time, keeping their fingers crossed that consumers would feel confident enough to return to the big screen. Judging by Cineworld’s trading update, it looks like people have missed the experience and we’ve just had a bumper weekend for cinema visits.
Cineworld doesn’t give any figures for sales or admissions, so we’re only going on the word of the management that performance was good. Yes, the company said UK trading beat its expectations – but what if they were extremely low in the first place?
“The weather was atrocious in many parts of the UK and so going to the cinema would have been a welcome relief, particularly to keep children entertained. But what happens if we finally get some good weather this weekend and from then on?,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
“The nation might prefer to enjoy the great outdoors and associated leisure activities, instead of sitting in a dark room with strangers and worrying about whether the ventilation system is up to scratch.
“Cineworld’s operations span the US and parts of Europe, so it is not a pure UK story. The cinema industry is celebrating the success of Fast & Furious 9 in China over the weekend, so Cineworld will be hoping that title will be also be a blockbuster hit once released in the UK and US in late June.
“The success of the cinema is heavily dependent on the quality of the film slate and there aren’t that many big films lined up for release until later in the summer. This suggests Cineworld will still have to keep its fingers crossed that the past weekend’s trading boost wasn’t a one-off.”