Odeon predicts blockbuster end to year after lacklustre summer


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Odeon Cinemas predicted a bumper end to the year yesterday, after riding out a lacklustre summer and early autumn-release schedule.

The cinema group said its third quarter was unlikely to be as strong as the first half as big box-office releases began to wane.

Its first half was boosted by the likes of Jurassic World and Minions, combined with the removal of booking fees and tastier popcorn. Audiences rose 14 per cent and earnings doubled to £37.3m.

However, it warned that the market would be quiet until the release of Spectre, the new James Bond film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the conclusion of the Hunger Games saga.

Paul Donovan, the chief executive of Odeon and UCI Cinemas, said: “In any quarter you usually get a surprise stand-out film, and there hasn’t been one in the third quarter. That just shows how important big ‘tentpole’ movies are to this business.”