Cineworld Reports Strong Post-COVID Return in the U.K., U.S.

Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld has reported a strong return in the U.K. and U.S. markets as cinemas reopen in a post-COVID scenario.

In the U.K. the recovery is led by the strong box office performance of “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.” Cinemas reopened in the U.K. on May 17 and the film led the box office with collections of $6.4 million, including a remarkable $2.5 million on Saturday.

“This weekend’s performance went beyond our expectations as customers were eager to return to the movies and enjoy the full movie experience, including the traditional popcorn which led to strong concession income,” Cineworld said in a statement.

In the U.S., following the opening of an additional 167 cinemas, over 97% of Regal cinemas across 502 sites have resumed operations. Cinemas in Israel and Poland will reopen at the end of this week and the company anticipates most of its sites reopening by the end of the month.

The Cineworld Group also announced it has received the full $203 million tax refund under the U.S. CARES Act.

“We are thrilled to have our cinemas back in business in the U.S. and U.K. and to welcome movie fans back to the big screen for an exciting and full slate of films,” said group CEO Mooky Greidinger. “We are especially pleased with the warm welcome our employees have received, and the positive feedback from returning guests. With the releases next week of ‘Cruella,’ and ‘A Quiet Place 2,’ we expect next weekend’s results to be strong.”

“When combined with improving consumer confidence and the success of the vaccination rollout, we expect a good recovery in attendance over the coming months, noting the record breaking success of ‘F9’ in the Asian market,” Greidinger added. “We are excited for our customers to experience the magic of big screen entertainment again, all made possible by the hard work of our colleagues around the world, and remain committed to be the best place to watch a movie.”

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