Cinema: Ster Kinekor Is Forecasting Audience Growth By Year-End

In January 2021, Ster-Kinekor Theatres entered into business rescue owing to conditions brought by lockdown restrictions. On its updated report to its creditors, the cinema chain has assured the creditors that there is visible steady growth.

Although there have been no significant content releases in recent weeks, the cinema chain has projected that customers will begin returning to the cinema in high numbers towards the end of the year.

Highlighting its prediction, Ster-Kinekor said its projections are based on new content, which they forecast will be released from July onwards. The newly-released content will play a significant role in the recovery of the chain, said Ster Kinekor.

Additionally, global projections have also indicated that July will bring about solid opening weekends of incoming movies. This view is based on the release of big audience drawer movies such as Fast and Furious 9, which is expected to bring a large number of audiences back to the cinema.

In a released statement, Ster Kinekor noted that content release remained the main driver of increased attendance levels. With Ster Kinekor being a leader in the cinema market in South Africa, it hoped to utilise its influence towards the chain's recovery.

Ster Kinekor also highlighted that at this stage, the company is still operating below pre-COVID19 attendance numbers. Until February 2020, the business was profitable with prospects of further growth based on blockbuster movies scheduled to be released.  However, due to COVID19 lockdown restrictions, cinemas were required to shut down until the end of August 2020.

Since then, the company has been operating under various restrictions such as curfews and limited guests per auditorium. Furthermore, the rescheduling of blockbuster movies has impacted the company's recovery. The Ster Kinekor appointed rescue practitioners have indicated that they will publish the rescue plan by the end of July.

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