James Bond has come to the rescue of Cineworld, helping its UK and Irish cinemas in October to beat box office and concession revenue levels seen in the same month two years earlier, before the pandemic struck.
No Time To Die has encouraged people to try the cinema again, although the master spy was unable to crack the code for similar success in the US and other Cineworld territories where October’s takings didn’t surpass the comparative period two years earlier.
“Nonetheless, the direction of travel for Cineworld’s revenue on a group basis is positive with the percentage of sales versus the same period in 2019 increasing month-on-month since July,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“The success of a cinema is highly dependent on the quality of the film slate and there have been some big-name productions helping to get punters through the doors, including Dune and Venom. “The release schedule looks fairly promising for the months ahead, so barring a new flare-up of Covid cases and renewed lockdown measures cinemas look like they are in a better place.
“The one thing missing from Cineworld’s update is the profit figure. We know the company has been trying to strip out costs, but it also has inflationary pressures and oodles of debt that needs repaying.
“Now is not the time to push through big ticket price hikes. Not only are family finances under pressure from higher energy, fuel and food bills, but cinema operators also need to use cheaper prices as a way of attracting anyone still on the fence about wanting to spend two hours in a confined space with a load of strangers.”