Blockbuster rise is set to continue

 
Elizabeth Fournier

ACCORDING to legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, the definition of good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.

Judged on Hitchcock’s standards Cineworld, whose shares rose almost five per cent yesterday after it reported rising revenues and market share, must be putting on a lot of good films.

Cinemagoers flocked through its doors in the first half of the year, picking the chain ahead of rivals Vue and Odeon & UCI despite the fact that it’s hiked ticket prices by 4.6 per cent. Investors seem impressed too. Cineworld’s share price is up 30 per cent since the start of the year, and showing no sign of slowing down – ­ and that’s before the summer blockbuster season, which should easily outstrip last year with no Olympic fever or Euro football keeping visitors away. By adding the more avant garde Picturehouse brand to its stable, Cineworld now appeals to every class of film fan – and it’s raking in their retail pounds too, from popcorn and 3D glasses to wine and wasabi peas.

The Christmas line-up may be looking a little bleak, with 2012’s Skyfall providing a tough comparative, but it looks like Cineworld has already done enough to be the box office (and market) hit of the year.