Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld Group has revealed a 66% overall average growth in revenues in the second half of 2021, compared to 2019.
The recovery has been driven by a slate of movies including “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, “Venom”, “Black Widow”, “Dune”, “Free Guy”, “Eternals” and “No Time to Die,” Cineworld said in a trading update on Friday.
While actual financial numbers were not disclosed, the group shared a steady growth pattern with 50% in July, 54% in August, 60% in September, 90% in October, 56% in November and 88% in December, 2021. November was impacted due to “Top Gun: Maverick” moving to May 2022, while December was particularly strong thanks to the release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
The highest growth rate was in the U.S., which grew from 45% in July to 91% in December. This was followed by the U.K. and Ireland, which climbed from 54% in July to 89% in December, compared to the same period in 2019, while the rest of the world declined from 79% to 72%. In the rest of the world, November and December’s performance was impacted by government restrictions due to the COVID-19 situation. Nevertheless, the group generated positive cash flow in in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In December 2021, a Canadian court had ordered Cineworld to pay $957 million in damages to rival group Cineplex for forsaking a planned takeover. Cineworld has confirmed that it served its notice of appeal of the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the case of Cineplex Inc. against Cineworld on Jan. 12, 2022.
Mooky Greidinger, CEO said: “We are pleased to see continued strong demand amongst audiences for cinema experiences, supported by a slate of high-quality and high-performing movies. This demonstrates that fans are continuing to choose the unrivalled theatrical experience. We have seen recovery in theatre attendances across our geographies, which generated a positive cashflow performance for Q4. ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ has shown the importance for studios of cinematic releases.”
Cineworld talked up a strong film slate for 2022 including, “The Batman”, “Morbius”, “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Jurassic World: Dominion”, “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, “Thor: Love and Thunder”, “Mission: Impossible 7”, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Avatar 2.”
“Whilst there are challenges ahead, we are excited to welcome customers to our cinemas to enjoy the highly anticipated slate of movies throughout 2022. We are continuing to implement guidelines to ensure our cinemas are a safe environment for our customers, and I want to thank everyone across our team who make it possible for our customers to experience the best place to watch a movie,” Greidinger added.
Cineworld will announce its full year results on March 17.