Everyman bounces back from Covid after blockbusters boost 


Hollywood blockbusters help luxury cinema chain Everyman bounce back from Covid

The boss of Everyman says video streaming is a friend rather than a foe as the luxury cinema bounces back.

The company said revenues rose 62 per cent to £79.7million last year as blockbusters such as Top Gun: Maverick helped it recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief executive Alex Scrimgeour said despite the ‘bumpy’ ride for the film industry, the relationship between cinemas and streaming giants was a healthy one.

Hot ticket: Luxury cinema chain Everyman said revenues rose 62% to £79.7m last year as blockbusters such as Top Gun: Maverick (pictured) helped it recover from the pandemic

It was feared that studios would release films directly to streaming services in the wake of the pandemic – hitting cinemas in the process.

But many films are released in cinemas first and later placed on streaming services, giving both sides a slice of the pie.

‘I don’t see it as competition,’ Scrimgeour told the Mail, adding that streaming investment was a help rather than hindrance to UK cinema. 

Amazon has invested £1billion in British TV and films since 2018, and the likes of Netflix continue to shoot shows at UK studios like Pinewood and Shepperton.

Blockbuster hits, often funded or made by these streaming titans, account for over half of box office revenues, British Film Institute data shows. This was up from 35pc before the pandemic.

Scrimgeour said the key for cinemas was a strong slate of movies – something that seems to be coming in full force in 2023 with the release of delayed blockbusters, including the latest Indiana Jones, Mission Impossible and Spiderman films. 

But media analyst at Enders Analysis Jamie MacEwan said Everyman’s success is more than just high-value films being released.

‘Everyman was well-placed to capitalise on the consumer desire for louder and bigger experiences post-pandemic,’ he said. 

Although Everyman increased its average ticket price by 2.6- per cent to £11.29 for the year, MacEwan said this remains an ‘affordable luxury’ in the face of cost of living concerns, with some perhaps swapping the West End for a luxury cinema seat.

The company also hiked food and drink prices by 3 per cent, pushing average spending per customer on refreshments to £9.34.

This cost management means Everyman has been able to open two venues this year in Edinburgh and Egham in Surrey, taking its total number of sites to 38. ‘The industry is finally on a path back,’ Scrimgeour said.

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