Cineworld raised cinema ticket prices by 40% since Covid restrictions eased

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Cinema fans have been yearning to get back into screens since the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic shut down all forms of entertainment. Cineworld, who also owns Picturehouse, struggled through the grip of lockdown as films stopped being released by major studios and people could not legally attend any viewings. In the past few months, lockdown measures have eased, allowing cinemas to open once again, but Cineworld punters are more out of pocket than before the pandemic.

Cineworld this week announced sales remain “well down” due to Covid restrictions.

The restrictions have impacted not only new movie releases but the number of screenings and viewers per day.

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With added social distancing measures in each screening, the brand is not filling up viewings as easily.

The firm revealed the highest-grossing movies of the year so far are Peter Rabbit 2, A Quiet Place Part II and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – all of which grossed just under $50 million (£35 million).

These numbers are significantly smaller than last year’s earnings of $103 million (£74 million).

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Cineworld bosses said the average ticket price rise was “was driven by a mix of customer behaviour and timing of film releases”.

The firm added: “The decrease in admissions was due to the impact of the temporary closure of our cinemas for significant periods during the six months ended June 30, 2021, and June 30 2020, as well as a lack of major film releases as distributors, delayed the release of major titles due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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The franchise no doubt suffered from a collection of digital releases as well.

While cinemas were shut, Disney released a slew of new movies on their streaming service, Disney Plus, with an added £20 fee. 

Bosses said there was a “material uncertainty” around the company’s future if lockdowns continued.

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Despite the cinema’s rising prices, film fans have a lot to look forward to this year.

Next month the latest Marvel adventure, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will hit the big screen on September 3.

This is the first Marvel outing since Black Widow – which was a prequel in the current MCU.

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After that, the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, hits cinemas on September 30.

Following numerous delays, the thrilling movie is due to end Daniel Craig’s journey as 007, ushering in a new version of the hero in the coming years.

Although speculation is rife around who will claim the role, Netflix’s Bridgerton actor Regé-Jean Page is currently the favourite, according to Ladbrokes.

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SOURCE / PA

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