‘No Time To Die’ helps box office return to pre-COVID levels

'Dune' and 'Venom' also helped Cineworld's revenues soar

Box office revenues for Cineworld have gone beyond pre-COVID levels thanks to films such as No Time to Die, Dune and Venom.

The chain, which is the second-largest in the world, reported big losses due to the pandemic in 2020, though reopened back in May amid an easing of restrictions in the UK.

Cineworld has now reported that its October box office and concession revenues in the UK and Ireland had reached 127 per cent of the equivalent month in 2019, before the pandemic began. Its shares also jumped 11 per cent, while revenues globally hit 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

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The company said this was helped by blockbusters such as the latest James Bond film, which had been delayed numerous times, as well as Dune and Marvel flicks Venom and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Dune cast
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in ‘Dune’ CREDIT: Warner Bros

The company said it expects the trend to continue with the releases of films such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and The Matrix Resurrections.

“There are real grounds for optimism in our industry,” said Cineworld’ chief executive Mooky Greidinger (via The Guardian). “We are thrilled to see audiences returning in significant numbers. Our partnerships with studios are as strong as ever and [there is] an incredible movie slate to come.”

Despite reported losses of $3billion (£2.2billion) in 2020, the company said they had returned a positive cashflow in October.

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Earlier this year, Cineworld enjoyed a strong re-opening weekend, with the performance going “beyond” their expectations thanks in part to Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

However, the company drew a big backlash during the second COVID lockdown in early 2021 over a bonus scheme that would give bosses £200million in shares, staff calling the decision “utterly despicable”.

“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,” the Cineworld Action Group said in response.

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