CINEMA operator Cineworld is braced for a “challenging” end to the year as upcoming releases face up to the success of last year’s James Bond blockbuster.
The group runs 101 venues across the UK and Ireland and, with the number of cinemagoers rising steadily since 2009, it plans to open up to 25 more over the next four years. Cineworld said its box office revenues during the 16 weeks to 17 October were just 1.4 per cent higher than the same period last year, compared with a 12.3 per cent jump at its Picturehouse chain of art-house cinemas.
The line-up for the rest of the year was described as “promising”, with strong performances expected from the latest instalments in the Hobbit, Hunger Games and Thor franchises.
However, the firm said: “In contrast to the third quarter, the group has a considerably more challenging fourth-quarter comparative due to the phenomenal success of Skyfall last year. We expect our results to be broadly in line with current market expectations for the full year.”