3-D adds a new dimension to Cineworld box office income
UK cinema group Cineworld, which owns Ireland's largest cineplex, on Dublin's Parnell Street, said yesterday that releases of 3-D movies such as 'Avatar' and 'Monsters vs Aliens' helped to attract more viewers to its screens during 2009.
In a trading update yesterday prior to the March release of full-year figures, Cineworld revealed that revenue for the 53 weeks to the end of December across its activities in the UK and Ireland rose 11.4pc, even though screen advertising revenues slumped 27.3pc in the period.
The 53-week period compares to a 52-week reporting period in the previous year.
Cineworld has just under a 24pc share of the combined UK and Ireland box office and operates a total of 790 screens in 77 locations.
The group's box office receipts were 16.8pc higher in the year compared with 2008, while retail sales of products such as popcorn and soft drinks surged 9.6pc.
Cineworld added that other income, the vast majority of which includes screen advertising revenue, was hit hard, reflecting what the group said was "generally weak" advertising demand.
It said that the performance of its core revenue streams -- ticket receipts and retails sales -- had "more than compensated" for the decline in ad income.
The company said that industry box office receipts were up 11pc in 2009 compared with 2008, according to data compiled by Nielsen EDI.
Tough economic times have also helped to boost cinema attendances.
In the United States, Hollywood studios had their best-ever year in 2009, taking in $10.4bn (€7.24bn) at the box office, beating the $9.68bn record set in 2007.
Ticket sales in the US were 5pc higher last year than in 2008.