Cinema box office takings still well below pre-pandemic levels

·1-min read
Cinema chain Cineworld has secured new loans to boost its financial position (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)
Cinema chain Cineworld has secured new loans to boost its financial position (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)

The UK cinema box office takings in the month since Covid restrictions were lifted were half what they were pre-pandemic.

Box office tracker Comscore said £65.7 million was spent in the four weeks after July 19.

Cinemas said they were "very pleased" with the figures and "pretty confident" they will get back to previous levels, according to the BBC, however, in 2019, this figure was £129 million.

Cinemas were massively affected by the pandemic, as many remained closed due to nationwide lockdowns.

This resulted in the lowest annual admissions ever recorded, with the UK’s biggest chain Cineworld reported a $3bn (£2.17bn) loss last year.

Technology research firm Omdia forecast that the annual UK box office will not match 2019’s figure until 2023.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, said that the conditions “remain challenging”.

"It’s clear that there is still some reluctance among certain audience segments to return, and that’s particularly true among older audiences," Mr Clapp told the BBC.

"There’s a continuing need to offer reassurance and to ensure that there’s the right film content for those older audiences.

"But broadly I think people [in the industry] are very pleased with the response of the public to the reopening of cinemas. The film slate is strengthening. We’re now seeing a major title released, if not quite every weekend, then every other weekend."

The slate of films set to be released in the coming months includes a handful of sequels to box office big-hitters.

This includes the eagerly-awaited Bond and Spider-Man films, Top Gun: Maverick, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Downton Abbey 2, Dune and West Side Story.

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