Fine weather, poor films blamed

BRUSSELS — The Kinepolis multiplex group has reported a 3.4% drop in visitor numbers last year. Its theaters in Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland welcomed 22,038,485 visitors in 2007, down on 22,804,657 in 2006.

The group blames exceptionally strong results in 2006 for setting a high standard, 6% up on 2005. But results were also hit by fine spring weather and a “mediocre” offer of international films, the company said.

It declined to comment on the financial impact of the decline in visitors until its year-end results are released in February.

Spain was the only territory to report an increase, with visitors to the group’s three complexes rising 2.4% to 5,397,350. This was thanks to two popular local thrillers, “Rec” and “El Orfanato,” bowing in the last quarter of 2007 and improvements at it Madrid and Granada sites.

The 11 complexes in Belgium had 6.9% fewer visitors, while the seven in France saw a 2.2% drop. The largest drop was in Switzerland, where visitors to Kinepolis’ complex in the small town of Schaffhausen fell by 8.2%.

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