Cineworld has warned that audience numbers are lower than expected and predicts they will remain low through November due to the “limited” release of the film.

The world’s second-largest movie company said it is currently evaluating options to strengthen its finances as a result.

The group, which also owns the UK picture house chain and US Regal Cinemas, had high hopes for releases such as Top Gun: Maverick, The Batman and Thor: Love and Thunder. Pandemic.

However, the company said in a statement:

Tom Cruise at the UK premiere of Top Gun: Maverick (Ian West/PA)

“These declines in attendance are due to a limited film slate expected to last through November 2022, which is expected to negatively impact deals and the Group’s liquidity position in the near future.”

Cineworld said it will continue its cost-cutting plans but will also explore new options to improve its financial position.

The company, which had $4.8 billion in debt at the end of last fiscal year, said it was in discussions with stakeholders about possible financing and considering restructuring its balance sheet.

Liberum analyst James Wheatcroft said the company’s heavy debt burden means that a restructuring of its balance sheet “will likely leave little to existing Cineworld shareholders.”

Cineworld said:

“Cineworld will continue to welcome guests to its cinemas as usual in markets around the world without disruption.”

This comes after posting a loss of $565.8 million in 2021, driven by higher attendance.

Sentiment around the company has been dented by two legal battles in the past year.

Taika Waititi arrives at the premiere of ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ in Leicester Square, London in July (Ian West/PA)

In September, the London-listed company agreed to pay $170 million to Regal shareholders who were dissatisfied with the price at which they bought the US movie theater chain following the dispute. , tried to delay some payments.

Meanwhile, it was ordered by a court in December to pay C$1.23 billion after it decided not to buy Canadian rival Cineplex because of the pandemic.

Chief Executive Mooky Greidinger has appealed the court’s ruling, arguing that the company acted in “good faith.”

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