No time to worry: cinema group Everyman expects Bond to give a further boost as it shows a strong pick-up in admissions
- From May 17 to July 1, turnout was at two-thirds of pre-Covid levels
- Everyman said ticket sales had exceeded forecasts since the cinemas reopened
- Dune and Spiderman: No Way Home are also major releases coming in 2021
Cinema chain Everyman saw the number of admissions drop by two-thirds in the first half of the year, because the buildings had to close for twenty weeks due to closures.
But the company said attendances had surpassed forecasts since theaters reopened in mid-May as audiences flocked to watch films like Oscar winner Nomadland and Marvel film Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson.
From May 17 to early July, the number of visitors was two-thirds of the pre-Covid level, while since the lifting of all capacity limits on July 21 until last week, the number of admissions was only one fifth lower than in 2019.
Bond is back: The new James Bond film No Time To Die is expected to boost Everyman after a challenging 18 months in which shooting plummeted
The independent cinema operator expects a slew of upcoming releases, such as the James Bond film No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final appearance as the soft spy, to continue bringing audiences back in large numbers.
Other blockbusters coming out this year include sci-fi epic Dune, Spiderman: No Way Home, Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story and the fourth installment of The Matrix franchise.
For all of these films, the release date has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing film studios to suspend production and temporarily close cinemas around the world.
In the first half of 2020, Everyman closed its sites for 15 weeks for 15 weeks. As a result, sales fell by almost half to £7.7 million and ticket sales fell by more than 550,000.
On average, moviegoers spent more on every movie ticket they bought and significantly more on food and drink, but overall sales in both categories fell by 59 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
It also posted a pre-tax loss of £8.9 million, outpacing the loss of £13.8 million a year earlier and losses of £22.2 million for the full year, but confirmed the impact on the group of coronavirus restrictions.
Silent Theatre: Everyman closed its locations for 15 weeks in the first half of 2020, but the first 20 weeks of this year. As a result, sales fell by almost half to £7.7m
Chief executive Alex Scrimgeour admitted the period was “challenging”, but said the “actions we took at the start of the pandemic and throughout the period have ensured that we are now in a strong position to take advantage.” of the recovery’.
To bolster its finances, Everyman has taken advantage of the UK government’s leave scheme to pay its employees, business holiday rates, business subsidies and the VAT reduction for leisure businesses.
Scrimgeour added: “Despite some challenges remaining, we are confident in our business model and that customers will continue to return to Everyman in increasing numbers over time.
“We have received significant support from all our key stakeholders, for which we are very grateful. We remain confident in the Everyman brand and in our ability to navigate out of recovery and back to growth.”
Expansion: Netflix’s £500m purchase of Roald Dahl’s back catalog gives it control over how it adapts children’s books for use in movies and television
All but one of the group’s 35 locations have been open since mid-May and it plans to add six more locations in 2021/22, followed by a year later.
But movie theater chains face increasing competition from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV+, all of which have attracted millions of new subscribers since the start of the pandemic.
These platforms have also pledged to spend tens of billions a year in the coming years on making their own films and television series.
Yesterday, Netflix revealed that it has bought children’s author Roald Dahl’s back catalog for an estimated £500 million. The deal gives the California-based media giant control over how it adapts the author’s books for use in movies and television.
Amazon is also seeking to complete the purchase of MGM, the film studio behind the James Bond franchise. Should the deal happen, it could mean the next Bond film will initially be released online rather than in theaters.
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