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Friday, 6 July, 2001, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
UK box office in 'slump'
Gladiator bumped up UK box office sales in 2000
Total UK box office revenues for the first half of 2001 are down 0.9% on the same period last year to 313.8m, according to reports.

Screen Daily, the website of trade paper Screen International, said the February and June box office in particular fared badly in comparison to the same months in 2000.

However, this was put almost entirely due to the exceptional performance of one film last year: Buena Vista International's Toy Story 2.

Poor box office in February was the main reason for the dip in form.

Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 was the biggest film of 2000
Despite the much-heralded releases of Hannibal and What Women Want, February 2000 was a much juicier prospect with The Beach, The Green Mile and the majority of American Beauty's gross.

But Buena Vista International's Toy Story 2 caused all of February 2000's releases to fade into insignificance.

The film broke the record for the UK's highest ever box office weekend when it opened in mid February, although this has since been broken by Bridget Jones's Diary, which took 5.7m.

Toy Story 2 eventually took 43.6m by the end of its UK run.

This February's Buena Vista International release, The Emperor's New Groove, only took 9.3m in comparison.

Disappointing summer

June 2001 has also performed badly. The June box office total of 38.6m is reported to be 7% down on last year's. Chicken Run, Stuart Little and Gladiator were all high grossers.

In comparison, the disappointing returns for this year's Pearl Harbor, combined with few other big hitters on release, resulted in a rather slow month.

However, March, April and May 2001 all performed well, with Bridget Jones' Diary doing particularly well.

Harry Potter
Harry Potter: Set to revitalise UK box office?
The remaining six months of 2001 look set to be profitable, however. The Cinema Advertisers Association (CAA) predicts that total ticket sales for 2001 will reach 148 million, a 4% increase over 2000.

Screen Daily, the paper's website, said the US box office is booming in comparison, with the first six months seeing an increase of 10% in ticket sales over the same period last year.

Shrek, The Mummy Returns and Pearl Harbor were the top performers.

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See also:

03 Jul 01 | Film
Shrek shoots to the top
02 Jul 01 | Film
AI tops US box office
24 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Cast Away pulls in UK crowds
21 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Toy Story 2 is 2000's top film
22 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Film frenzy at UK box office
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