Cineworld looking for Bond boost

James Bond is expected to do more than save the world this year as the UK’s largest cinema operator looks to the secret agent’s latest adventure to boost waning audiences.

Cineworld saw box office admissions drop 0.8 per cent in the 26 weeks to June 28, although revenues held up as the group increased average ticket prices by five per cent to £5.15.

The group, which has 79 cinemas and 811 screens, said it was in line to meet full year expectations due to a strong second-half film line-up including the latest Bond film Skyfall, The Hobbit and the final instalment of the vampire romance Twilight series.

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Cineworld chief executive Stephen Wiener said: “The timing of these releases means that trade is expected to be strongest in the last two months of the year.”

The company - based in Chiswick, west London - said total revenues were 1.1 per cent higher at £165.4m in the half year, while operating profits increased by 21.5 per cent to £15.8m.