Cineworld has reported a fall in box office revenues in 2019, with the industry hoping for a boost from Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This from The Guardian….
British-based Cineworld, the world’s second-largest cinema chain, reported a 13% fall in global box office revenues in the year to 12 May. In the UK and Ireland market Cineworld’s box office revenues slumped 13.6% year on year. And in the US, the world’s biggest movie market, ticket revenue fell by 15%.
Cineworld’s figures were in line with global box office trends. So far this year the overall UK and Ireland box office take is down 13% at £447m. The US is down 10% at $3.8bn (£2.94bn), according to Comscore.
Cineworld said the performance was in line with expectations of a “soft” start to the year because of the timings of major releases in 2018. Last year the industry benefited from a slew of early hits including Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War as well as the carryover of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which were released in late 2017.
“The relatively slow start to the year in the first four months has come as no surprise as the comparative period in 2018 was extremely strong,” the chief executive of Cineworld, Mooky Greidinger, said. “Avengers: Endgame was always set to be the beginning of real strength in this year’s slate. The record-breaking results of this latest Avengers movie prove the undisputed power of the theatrical business and its popularity around the world.”
Cineworld said that in the last three weeks there had been a “record-breaking performance in all markets” as Avengers: Endgame, which was released on 25 April, became a global phenomenon. The film has taken more than $2.5bn worldwide and looks likely to pass Avatar, which took just over $2.8bn, to become the highest-grossing film of all time. In the UK the blockbuster has so far taken £80m, easily surpassing its predecessor, last year’s Infinity War, which took £66.7m in total.
Cineworld is also banking on the final film in the Star Wars franchise, The Rise of Skywalker, to be the other standout performer this year.
“We are confident that the strong film release lineup in the balance of the year, which includes highly commercial titles, such as Lion King, Frozen 2 and the most anticipated movie of them all, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will enable us to achieve results which meet our expectations for the full year,” Greidinger said.
Last year Cineworld completed a $3.6bn takeover of rival Regal Entertainment, making it the world’s second-largest cinema chain by number of screens.