The Marvel superhero film “Spider-Man: No Way Home” helped Cineworld’s December box office sales recover to nearly 90% of pre-pandemic levels, pushing its shares 3 percent higher in early trade on Friday.
After sales climbed, the world’s second-largest theatre operator announced its cash flow became positive in the fourth quarter.
In November, movie delays affected attendance, while global restrictions to combat the Omicron coronavirus type also hurt demand.
Straight-to-streaming has harmed cinema operators as well, but Cineworld has witnessed a modest comeback since April, aided in part by Marvel flicks such as “Black Widow” and “Eternals.”
After being sentenced last month to pay rival Cineplex C$1.23 billion ($985 million) in damages for abandoning a planned takeover, Cineworld is sure to be relieved by the December sales update Cineworld has appealing the ruling.
Many of Cineworld’s major markets have avoided strict lockdowns, and immunizations have also helped.
Vaccine-advanced countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel account for 90% of the company’s income.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” has surpassed “Titanic,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1998, as the sixth-highest grossing film in the United States. The superhero adventure is the first pandemic-era film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.
Cineplex’s group sales increased to 88 percent of pre-pandemic 2019 levels in December, up from 56 percent in November.
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