Beauty and the Beast and La La Land drive box office boost for Cineworld
Hit films such as La La Land, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lego Batman Movie have helped drive growth in numbers of film-goers at Cineworld.
The chain, which has a cinema at Bentley Bridge at Wednesfield, reported a 17.3 per cent increase in box office takings in the UK and Ireland since the beginning of the year.
That has helped total group revenue to grow by 15.8 per cent over the period.
It put the strong admissions growth down to a combination of a strong slate of new films and its ongoing refurbishment programme.
The film adaptation of the Disney cartoon Beauty and the Beast has been a strong performer for cinemas this year, passing Mamma Mia to become the biggest-grossing musical in UK film history, and taking more than $1.2 billion (£900 million) around the world.
Film fans have also flocked to see Oscar winner La La Land, while animation Sing, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and The Fate of the Furious have also been in demand, Cineworld said.
Retail revenue also showed strong growth of 19.7 per cent as a result of the increase in admissions, the nature of the film mix and the expansion of the group's retail offerings, including the opening of Starbucks outlets and VIP sites in its cinemas.
The increase in UK admissions also boosted on-screen advertising revenues for the period, with other income increasing by 7.5 per cent across the group, despite a particularly strong comparative period.
The group said it was expecting to meet investors' expectations for the year, thanks in part to films such as Wonder Woman, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Transformers: The Last Knight and The Mummy.