Cineworld enjoys Bond boost as sales rise above pre-pandemic levels

Cinemas enjoy James Bond boost: Cineworld says sales in October are 27% higher than before the pandemic after release of new 007 movie No Time to Die

  • Figures show Cineworld revenue in October 2021 was 127% of October 2019’s
  • Cineworld’s James Bond boost materialised most strongly in Britain and Ireland 
  • In the rest of the world, Cineworld’s revenue is still 20% down compared to 2019 
  • New Ghostbusters, Spider-Man and Matrix films slated to keep sales strong

British and Irish cinemagoers returned to the silver screen in larger numbers than before the pandemic as the new James Bond film hit Cineworld sites.

The chain said that its revenue from the box office and concessions was 27% higher in October, compared to the same month before the pandemic.

Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: ‘We are thrilled to see audiences returning in significant numbers. 

‘Our partnerships with the studios are as strong as ever and with the incredible movie slate to come, there are real grounds for optimism in our industry.’

It comes as Bond film No Time To Die hit movie theatres at the end of September, alongside several other major releases, including Black Widow and Dune.

Cineworld reported October 2021 sales at 127% of October 2019’s levels in Britain and Ireland, thanks in part to the James Bond boost, marking an important milestone in their post-pandemic recovery

But outside the UK and Ireland the recovery has not quite been completed.

Revenue was still 20% down in the US, albeit stronger than compared with September, when it was 46% lower than in 2019.

In the rest of the world, revenue was down 16%, compared to 22% in September, the company said on Monday.

With new big titles coming out before the end of the year – including new Ghostbusters, Spider-Man and Matrix films – Cineworld said it will have several strong performers, as long as the ‘Covid-19 situation’ does not deteriorate.

The company reported an ‘important milestone’ in its pandemic recovery as its cash flow turned positive last month.

Mr Greidinger said: ‘I would especially highlight the great performances we saw from our newly refurbished cinemas in the US.

‘These new cinemas clearly support our strategy to enhance the cinema experience for all our customers.

Daniel Craig said before No Time to Die’s release that he had hoped the film could contribute to resuscitating the cinema industry post-pandemic

‘I am really proud of the extraordinary efforts that everybody in the business has made to manage this company during an unprecedented time.

‘Whilst there are challenges ahead, I believe these efforts have positioned us for great success in the future and we are all looking forward to continuing to welcome our customers to the best place to watch a movie.’

No Time to Die opened in a record-breaking 772 cinemas in the UK and Ireland on 30 September, 25 more than the previous record holder, 2019’s Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, making it Universal’s widest ever release in the UK territory. 

The new 007 film’s first day ticket sales were 13% higher than 2015’s Spectre but 26% lower than 2012’s Skyfall, according to estimates by Universal producers. 

Daniel Craig, the film’s star, said before the movie’s release that he hoped it could contribute to a rebound for the pandemic-battered cinema industry. 

Speaking to PA in September, Craig said: ‘I believe in cinema, it’s the job I do and having this film come out right now and try and hopefully to give the industry some sort of boost.

‘Cinema is here to stay as far as I’m concerned and if we can help in some way, I’ll be very happy.’ 

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