Cineworld sees positive cash flow in Q4 2021; Confirmed appeal from Cineplex – Deadline


Powered by a number of large tent poles including Sony/Marvel Spider-Man: No Way Home and MGM/Eon/Universal no time to dieCineworld Group reports that it generated positive cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2021. The world’s second-largest exhibitor, which owns Regal in the US, did not disclose dollar amounts but did release a trading update this morning for the six-month period ended December 31, 2021. The company will report its full-year results on March 17.

Box office and concession revenues saw significant growth in the second half of 2021. In particular, the group performance in July was 50% of the 2019 level, rose to 90% in October and reached 88% in December. (November was 56%, impacted by the Paramount/Skydance release date delay Top Gun: Maverick which has moved to May 2022.) In the US, Regal grew from 45% in July to 91% in December. Reinforced in the UK by no time to die, October surpassed 2019 levels with 127% of the same month’s revenue two years ago.

Cineworld also confirmed that it had served its appeal against the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in Cineplex Inc’s case against Cineworld on January 12. In December, the court ruled that Cineworld “rejected the transaction to acquire Cineplex” and awarded the Canadian company CA$1.24 billion ($965 million) in damages for breach of contract.

Along with no time to die and Spider-Man: No Way Home, the 2021 recovery was fueled by a list that included Disney/Marvel’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Black widow and eternal; Sony’s Venom: Let there be carnage, Warner Bros./Legendary’s dune and Disney/20th Century Studios Free guy.

Cineworld operates in 10 countries with 751 locations and 9,188 screens worldwide. In non-US and UK markets, November and December performance was impacted by government restrictions due to the ongoing Covid situation.

CEO Mooky Greidinger said: “We are delighted by the continued strong audience demand for theatrical experiences, supported by a range of high-quality and high-performing films. This shows that fans continue to choose the unrivaled cinematic experience. We have seen a rebound in theater attendances in our regions resulting in a positive cash flow performance for Q4. Spider-Man: No Way Home has shown how important film releases are for studios. While challenges lie ahead, we look forward to welcoming customers to our cinemas to enjoy the highly anticipated selection of films in 2022. We continue to implement guidelines to ensure our theaters are a safe environment for our customers and I want to thank everyone across our team for enabling our customers to experience the best place to watch a film.”

Cineworld announced a strong slate for 2022, including those from Warner Bros/DC The Batman, Sony’s disease, Paramount/Skydance Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7, Universals Jurassic World: Dominion, Universal/Lighting Minions: The Rise of Gru, Disney/Marvels Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Disney/20th Century Studios’ avatar 2.