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UK cinemas hope for stronger winter

Cinemas in the UK are hoping that upcoming blockbuster movie releases in the winter will bring a much-needed boost after a quiet summer.

Despite the release of the popular and successful Top Gun: Maverick earlier this summer, it failed to ignite a lasting resurgence for cinema.

Since cinemas were able to open in the UK following the end of pandemic restrictions, James Bond’s No Time To Die and Spider-Man: No Way Home, along with the new Top Gun film, were predicted to get the ball rolling in terms of recovery.

However, ticket sales in the UK and Ireland are still almost 30% down compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, according to the Guardian. The box office has hit £690m ($800m/€800m) in ticket sales, in part thanks to those blockbusters. However, streaming has hindered the interest in mid-budget movies, leaving seats empty.

Earlier this month, cinemas in the UK and the US introduced National Cinema day with tickets costing just £3 to entice customers and families.

It proved successful and resulted in 1.46 million admissions in the UK, about three times the number for a typical pre-pandemic Saturday.

The problems persist for cinema, with UK-based chain Cineworld filing for bankruptcy protection in the US through a chapter 11 petition, after succumbing to almost $9bn worth of debt and lease liabilities.

The UK’s third-biggest cinema chain Vue is also struggling with financial issues, and is going through a major restructure. Equity holders have been wiped out across both cinema chains.

Major sequels to Avatar and Black Panther are due to drop this winter, with cinema chains hoping that it is enough to draw back the masses.

Image: Krists Luhaers on Unsplash