BOSSES at Cineworld are hoping the final instalment of the Star Wars saga, due out later this month, will deliver a boost at the end of a year which has seen box office receipts fall.

The international company operates the 16-screen multiplex at Poole’s Tower Park.

Customers have already enjoyed a slew of sequels including The Lion King, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Joker and Frozen 2, with Jumanji: The Next Level and Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker still to come.

However, the weak year means Cineworld is expected to trade below expectations for the year, bosses have admitted, despite increasing savings from its takeover of US rival Regal.

Cineworld, which also owns the Picturehouse brand, added that total sales in the 11 months to December 1 were down 9.7 per cent, including a 13.9 per cent fall at the US box office and 12.7 per cent drop in the UK and Ireland.

Sales of popcorn, snacks and drinks also fell 7.4 per cent across the group, with the US down 8.3 per cent and UK and Ireland off 12.7 per cent.

Mooky Greidinger, chief executive of Cineworld, said: "Despite the challenging backdrop, Cineworld has continued to execute well and our strategy of focusing on optimising customer experience remains unchanged.

"There is an impressive selection of movies to come, which, coupled with our extensive premium technology-led offering and exciting food and beverage offerings, will contribute strongly to our operating results and underpin our mission to be the best place to watch a movie."

During the second half of the year, five new sites totalling 45 screens, were opened - two in the UK, two in the US and one in Poland - with a further five sites closed.

Cineworld added: "The impact of the major releases in December is expected to continue the recent positive box office trend. However, given the weaker full-year box office, partially offset by strong execution of synergies and revenue initiatives, management expects trading for the full year to be slightly below management's expectations."

The Tower Park cinema was one of five bought by Cineworld from Empire in a £94million deal in 2016.