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Lion King fails to boost Cineworld’s box office

The Lion King and Spider-Man: Far from Home have not been enough to give Cineworld the box office takings it had hoped for.

The Lion King
The Lion King

The cinema chain, which has branches in Wolverhampton, Telford, Birmingham and Stoke, has warned that weak box-office sales are set to mean trading for the year is expected to be “slightly below management’s expectations”.

Films including the Lion King remake and Spider-Man: Far From Home have helped bring in the crowds, as well as Joker, which topped the film chart for more than five weeks. And Frozen 2 has given Cineworld a strong end to the year, with sell-out showings for the Disney animation.

But sales across all territories fell for Cineworld in the 11 months to December 1, the company said, with the UK box office down by almost 10 per cent and down around 11 per cent in the US. Sales from popcorn, snacks and extra services were also down by 8.7 per cent and 8.3 per cent in the UK and US respectively.

Bosses at the cinema chain, which also includes the Picturehouse brand, added that its takeover of US rival Regal is expected to generate savings of £147 million, up from initial estimates of £115 million.

Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “Despite the challenging backdrop, Cineworld has continued to execute well and our strategy of focusing on optimising customer experience remains unchanged.”

The multiplex, which has large sites at Bentley Bridge in Wolverhampton and Southwater in Telford, says it has experienced huge demand for Frozen 2 and expects Christmas box office figures to be healthy. The British romantic comedy Last Christmas has also proved popular.

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