Cineworld warned on Wednesday that a lack of big-budget film releases was hitting admissions at its theatres and would likely persist until November.

The world's second largest cinema chain saw its net debt rise last year and was hoping to bounce back this summer with film sequels such as James Cameron's "Avatar 2" and Tom Cruise's "Top Gun: Maverick" as well as some Marvel films.

However, Hollywood has released fewer movies than a typical summer, largely due to filming disruptions during the pandemic, and some genres, such as romantic comedies, are now more likely to head directly to streaming.

"Despite a gradual recovery of demand since re-opening in April 2021, recent admission levels have been below expectations," the company said.

Cineworld said it was still in discussions with parties over potential funding, or restructuring of its balance sheet.

The company's net debt rose to $8.9 billion at the end of 2021, up some $600 million from a year earlier.

In March, Cineworld said it was looking for new sources of liquidity as it grapples with payment obligations to former shareholders of its U.S. division Regal and a potential multi-million-dollar fine in a dispute with Canada's Cineplex .

Cineworld, which has more than 9,000 screens globally, said it expects operations to remain unaffected despite the near-term hit, and that it expects to meet its business counterparty obligations.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Jason Neely)