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Thursday, 21 December, 2000, 22:31 GMT
Toy Story 2 is 2000's top film
Buzz Lighyear
Buzz Lightyear proved a hit in Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 is the biggest box office smash of the year in the UK and has helped take cinema attendance in the country to its highest for more than 25 years.

The Walt Disney sequel to 1995's Toy Story earned a hefty 43.5m in cinemas across the UK and Ireland in 2000, according to Screen International.

Historical epic Gladiator finished second, attracting sales of 31m. Another animated favourite, Chicken Run, took third place on the top-earners list, grossing 29m in ticket sale.

Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot
Billy Elliot was the seventh biggest box office hit
End-of-year film industry reports also reveal the number of cinema goers in the UK is growing. The Cinema Advertising Association predicts ticket sales across the UK will top 143 million for 2000.

This is the best attendance number since 1974 and is four million up on last year's admissions, which totalled 139 million.

The fourth biggest film in the UK this year was Oscar winner American Beauty, which earned 21m.

The British-made film Billy Elliot finished an impressive seventh with sales of 16.5m.

The BBC-backed production is about a miner's son who chooses not to follow his widowed father's instructions that he should train to be a boxer and becomes a ballet dancer.

Golden globe

Most of the UK box office hits this year have scooped awards or have been nominated.

Among Toy Story's accolades are a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.

Billy Elliot has been nominated in the 2001 Golden Globe Awards for best dramatic film and is up against Gladiator.

Its star, Julie Walters, is also up for a Golden Globe in the Supporting Actress - Drama, Musical or Comedy category.

While Gladiator star Russell Crowe is also up for an award in the Actor - Drama category.

See also:

21 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Gladiator and Traffic fight for Globes
22 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Long shots hope for Oscar glory
08 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Billy aims to conquer Europe
20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
US rates Billy with Exorcist
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