Cineworld made a slow start to the year in the first four months blaming a tough comparative from last year. During the first four months of the year, total revenue fell 9.4% with its US and UK segments slipped 11%, 12.1%, respectively, while the Rest of World (ROW) segment was up 9.1%. The fall in revenue comes despite record performance in the last the three weeks of the period, driven by record-breaking "Avengers: Endgame" which grossed over $2.5bn globally to date. During the period, four new sites (60 screens) were opened, one in Bulgaria and three in the US including Essex, our new 14-screen multiplex in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In a separate statement, the company also announced the signing and completion of a sale and leaseback transaction relating to 17 US-based multi-screen cinemas totaling 251 screens. As part of the transaction, Cineworld would sell the cinemas to subsidiaries of Realty Income for US$ 286.3m and leasing them back under 15-year leases on customary terms. Cineworld intended to use the proceeds from the transaction to reduce net debt. For the for the remainder of the first half, the company touted a strong slate of films, including, "Pokémon Detective Pikachu", "Aladdin", "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", "The Secret Life of Pets 2", "X-Men: Dark Phoenix", "Men In Black: International" and "Toy Story 4". 'The relatively slow start to the year in the first four months has come as no surprise as the comparative period in 2018 was extremely strong; Avengers Endgame was always set to be the beginning of real strength in this year's slate. The record breaking results of this latest Avengers movie prove the undisputed power of the theatrical business and its popularity around the globe,' said Mooky Greidinger, Chief Executive Officer of Cineworld Group. 'Our strategy is unchanged and its implementation continues, with an exciting refurbishment programme, further installation of new technologies (an additional 40 4DX and 40 ScreenX auditoriums to be up and running by December), and our pioneering Unlimited scheme set to launch soon in the US.' 'We are confident that the strong film release line up in the balance of the year, which includes highly commercial titles, such as "Lion King", "Frozen 2", and the most anticipated movie of them all "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" will enable us to achieve results which meet our expectations for the full year.'
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