Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

UK cinema attendances 'at seven-year high'

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter was the highest grossing UK film last year

UK cinema admissions in 2009 were at their highest level since 2002, the Film Council has revealed.

Box office attendances have varied in the past seven years, peaking in 2002 with a total of 175.9m admissions and dipping to 156.6m in 2006.

Last year, UK cinemas admitted 173.9m customers, with takings at a record £944m.

Blockbuster movies such as Harry Potter, Twilight and Avatar helped entice people back to the cinemas.

Strong performance

The total UK gross box office of £944m was up 11% on 2008.

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - £50.72m
2. Avatar - £41.00m
3. Ice Age III - £35.02m
4. Up - £34.42m
5. Slumdog Millionaire - £31.66m
6. The Twilight Saga: New Moon - £27.08m
7. Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen - £27.06m
8. The Hangover - £22.12m
9. Star Trek - £21.40m
10. Monsters Vs. Aliens - £21.37m
Source: Nielsen EDI, UK Film Council

Combined with takings made in the Irish Republic the box office exceeded £1bn for the first time.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was the highest earning release of the year with takings of nearly £51m.

James Cameron's movie Avatar, although it was only released in December, is continuing to perform strongly in its fourth weekend on release and could go on to exceed this figure.

Last year was also the second best year on record for money spent on production in the UK, with a total spend of £956.9m, 56% higher than 2008.

Chief executive officer of the UK Film Council John Woodward said the film industry is "weathering the recession well".

He added: "Taken together, these box office and inward investment numbers show how film in the UK has moved from the margins back to the mainstream, helping sustain jobs and promote the UK's place on the international stage.

"British cinemagoers are voting with their feet - they want to see big event movies, many of which depend on outstanding British talent and are made in the UK thanks to our reliable film tax credit."

Print Sponsor

Film Council predicts bumper year
16 Jul 09 |  Entertainment
Glory for Avatar at Golden Globes
18 Jan 10 |  Entertainment
Avatar on course to sink Titanic
08 Jan 10 |  Entertainment
Avatar smashes box office record
04 Jan 10 |  Entertainment
Avatar takes Christmas box office
28 Dec 09 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific