JAMES Bond thriller Skyfall drove Cineworld profits up by more than 15 per cent last year despite a stagnant performance in the pricier 3D film format.
The cinema chain said yesterday that admissions fell 1 per cent to 47.8 million in 2012, but that Skyfall’s release in October helped box office revenues rise just under 4 per cent to £251.6m. Average ticket prices per admission were up 5 per cent at £5.26.
It said the number of 3D releases, whose average ticket price of £6.74 compared with £4.78 for 2D, was static at 37 in 2012.
The proportion of national box office revenues generated from 3D stabilised at 22 per cent, compared with the high-water mark of 30 per cent in 2010, a year that included the successes in the genre of Alice in Wonderland, Avatar and Toy Story 3.
Cineworld, whose 2012 profit came in at £38.5m, said most customers opted for the 2D format while more than 25 per cent of admissions were for Tuesday and Wednesday performances when ticket prices are cheaper.
The results came as the group announced that it has been selected to run the Glasgow Science Centre 380-seat Imax theatre. Cineworld also added to its estate of 80 cinemas and 818 screens in December via the £47.3m acquisition of the 21-strong Picturehouse chain. The latter has a more art house audience.