Bankrupt Regal Cinemas’ Owner Says Fiscal Recovery Remains Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Cineworld, the bankrupt U.K.-based owner/operator of Regal Cinemas in the U.S., Sept. 30 disclosed that its fiscal return remains challenged. The operator of more than 9,000 screens across 10 countries said that while monthly ticket sales have progressively recovered through June 30, topping 82 million, they remained below both pre-pandemic levels and the company’s original forecast for 2022.

Cineworld generated just 14 million ticket sales in the previous-year period. Revenue topped $1.5 billion, up from $293 million in 2021. The chain generated 136 million ticket sales in the first six months of 2019, including $2.15 billion in revenue.

This has been a challenging period for Cineworld due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and its lagging and continuing disruption to film schedules,” CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement. 

Greidinger said the box office successes of Top Gun: Maverick; Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness; Jurassic World Dominion and The Batman underscore consumer demand for “special” cinematic experiences.

The executive said that despite encouraging signs among moviegoers and a strong slate of movies later this year, Cineworld’s Chapter 11 restructuring process in the U.S. should provide the financial strength and flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity position. 

“We strongly believe that our customers have missed the big-screen experience and the social event of watching a movie with others,” Greidinger said. “The upcoming winter film slate, including but certainly not limited to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water, gives us confidence that trading will improve from its current levels. This will be assisted by our clear focus on growth and the dedication of our team.”

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