Cineworld enjoys strong reopening weekend

All 127 UK theatres had been closed since October

Cineworld has enjoyed a strong reopening weekend as film fans returned to cinemas following the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the UK.

The company said that the box office performance went “beyond” their expectations, in part driven by the release of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

Cineworld’s 127 UK sites had been closed since October amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and delays to major releases such as No Time To Die.

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Speaking following the reopening weekend, the company said: “This weekend’s performance went beyond our expectations as customers were eager to return to the movies and enjoy the full movie experience.”

Peter Rabbit 2 (CREDIT: Sony Pictures/PictureLux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy Stock Photo)

“We are thrilled to have our cinemas back in business in the US and UK and to welcome movie fans back to the big screen for an exciting and full slate of films,” Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger added.

“When combined with improving consumer confidence and the success of the vaccination rollout, we expect a good recovery in attendance over the coming months, noting the record breaking success of F9 in the Asian market.”

In the US, 97 per cent of Cineworld’s venues are now open, with most screens across the globe expected to be running by the end of the month.

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The chain reported big losses in 2020 due to the pandemic, though it caused controversy earlier this year with a bonus scheme that would give bosses over £200 million in shares.

The Cineworld Action Group condemned the decision, saying: “As thousands of Cineworld and Picturehouse staff across the country continue to struggle to afford basic necessities, top Cineworld bosses are set to potentially receive up to £33m each in share awards.”

As well as Cineworld, Odeon recently reopened after an extended period of being shut. The chain announced in October that it had made the “tough but necessary” decision to cut jobs.

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