Hard-pressed Cineworld revs up for post-pandemic comeback


The cinema chain’s results this week will be grim, but vaccines offer hope that screens could soon reopen – and stay that way

When Cineworld reports its annual results this week, investors are in for a financial horror movie. An expected pre-tax loss of almost $700m (£500m) will be testament to a pandemic-racked year that may have forever changed cinemagoers’ habits.

The parlous financial state of the UK’s largest cinema chain – with 127 sites – stands in stark contrast to the recent success of the streaming services, which have benefited from prolonged theatre closures and a boom in demand for home entertainment. This state of affairs was underlined again last week when Netflix, which has passed 200 million global subscribers after enjoying its best-ever year of signups in 2020, received a record 35 Oscar nominations – more than any single Hollywood studio has managed in modern history.

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