The Cineworld Group, the second largest cinema group in the world, is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal reports the British-based firm is considering the move after struggles to rebuild attendance following the Covid pandemic.

The company has 128 cinemas in the UK and Ireland, including the large 16-screen cinema at the Leisure Exchange in Bradford city centre.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Cineworld, at the Bradford Leisure ExchangeCineworld, at the Bradford Leisure Exchange

Others in our region include White Rose Shopping Centre, Westgate Retail Park in Wakefield and Xscape in Castleford.

READ MORE: Cineworld hikes ticket prices by 40% since reopening

Cineworld, which also operates Regal Cinemas in the United States, has engaged lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and consultants from AlixPartners to advise on the bankruptcy process.

It comes after Cineworld warned audience numbers have been weaker than expected and predicted they will stay low until November due to “limited” film releases.

In a statement, the firm said: “Despite a gradual recovery of demand since reopening in April 2021, recent admission levels have been below expectations.

“These lower levels of admissions are due to a limited film slate that is anticipated to continue until November 2022 and are expected to negatively impact trading and the group’s liquidity position in the near term.”

The company said it will continue with cost-saving plans but will also look at new options to improve its financial position.

In October 2020, Cineworld announced it would close all its cinemas as bosses said cinema had become "unviable" as studios kept putting back blockbuster release dates during the pandemic.

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