Bond and The Hobbit rescue Cineworld from Olympic blues

A STELLAR lineup of film releases at the end of last year rescued film theatre chain Cineworld from a subdued summer, with cinema goers spending more than ever on tickets and popcorn, despite the draw of the Olympics.

The company said yesterday that revenues across the group had risen by 2.4 per cent in 2012, despite it scrapping online booking fees and selling fewer 3D glasses. Cineworld suffered a difficult summer as it struggled to compete with the Olympics and the Euro 2012 football tournament, but the releases of Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit and the final Twilight film ensured a strong final push.

Skyfall – coming 50 years after the first James Bond film – broke UK box office records, becoming the first film to bring in more than £100m in ticket sales.

Cineworld said revenues from ticket sales grew 3.9 per cent in the year, owing partly to a five per cent average price hike, while food and drink sales rose 0.8 per cent.