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Cineworld pins hopes on new Top Gun and Marvel movies as it warns of slow start since reopening

Tom Cruise is seemingly set to attempt to break the stunts per year record in 2021 thanks to the delay to this belated sequel to the 1980s classic <em>Top Gun</em> and, of course, another big franchise effort. More on that later. Joseph Kosinski’s film sees Cruise reprise the role of test pilot Maverick and will feature Miles Teller as Rooster — son of Maverick’s late friend Goose. (Credit: Paramount)
Tom Cruise in the new Top Gun Maverick film. Photo: Paramount (Scott Garfield)

Cineworld (CINE.L) is pinning its hopes on upcoming big budget releases like Top Gun Maverick and the long-delayed new James Bond film to help revive its fortunes after a slow start since reopening.

The chain said on Thursday that it had seen a "gradual" recovery in demand since its cinemas began reopening in the US and UK. Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said the business was held back by a "lack of product" but said the Cineworld was "encouraged by the upcoming line-up of big releases" including "four new Marvel movies as well as Top Gun Maverick, the new Bond, Matrix, Dune, and many more."

While things are looking up, numbers published on Thursday highlighted the damage done during the pandemic. Admissions in the first six months of 2021 dropped 70% to 14m and revenue crashed 59% to $292m.

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Cineworld burned through around $45m a month but still managed to narrow losses, reducing them from $1.6bn in the first half of 2020 to $576m over the last six months.

"Cineworld has continued to deliver strong operational and cash control despite the challenging trading conditions we have been faced with in light of COVID-19," said Cineworld chair Alicja Kornasiewicz. "Our teams have given their utmost during periods where we have been able to open, and I would like to thank them for their commitment and dedication."

Grainger said: "Trading has been encouraging since we started to re-open our sites in April and it has been great to have our teams back, doing what they do best, and welcoming customers back into our cinemas.

"I am confident that the business is in a strong position to execute its strategy and deliver a return to growth as we recover from the pandemic and capitalise on the forthcoming strong film slate alongside clear pent-up consumer demand."

Shares rose 7.4% on the update.

Cineworld's shares popped on the update. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK
Cineworld's shares popped on the update. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK (Yahoo Finance UK)

Micheal Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said "the bar was set low" for Cineworld's half-year results after the stock hit its lowest level this year in July.

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