Spin-off comedy leaves Cineworld smiling

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British comedy The Inbetweeners Movie has driven growth in box office sales at the UK’s largest cinema operator Cineworld.

The film, a spin-off of the popular Channel 4 sitcom about the suburban lives of four teenage boys, was singled out as helping to lift Cineworld box office revenues 1.4 per cent in the 42 weeks to October 20.

Cineworld said The Inbetweeners Movie, which held the most successful opening weekend for a British comedy film, had nearly matched the performance of Oscar-winner The King’s Speech.

The group, which has 78 sites and more than 800 screens, said the final quarter has a “promising” line up including the fourth Mission Impossible film, Sherlock Holmes 2 and The Adventures of Tintin.

As well as The Inbetweeners Movie, Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows part 2 in 3D, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Bridesmaids all lifted box office sales in the second half of the year.

3D admissions to date represented almost 18 per cent of total admissions, compared to 16 per cent for the first half of the year, Cineworld said.

Retail revenues – such as food and drinks – edged 0.1 per cent higher in the period, the group said.

Cineworld said it is continuing to expand its digital screens, with almost 70 per cent of screens converted and it is scheduled to convert a further 76 screens by the end of the financial year.

Johnny English – Reborn, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Puss in Boots in 3D were also flagged as movies which should help to offset the ongoing weakness in the wider advertising market. Nigel Parson, analyst at Evolution Securities, said: “Cineworld’s year continues to pan out much as expected, the third quarter has been a good quarter despite tough comparatives.”

The Inbetweeners Movie, which sees four teenage boys go on holiday to Malia, Crete, after they finish school, cost £3.5m to make and has taken in excess of £45m at box offices in the UK so far.