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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Blockbuster boost for box office
Matrix Revolutions
Matrix Revolutions is the final film in the trilogy
UK cinema admissions could once again reach an all-time high in 2003, thanks to a string of blockbusters scheduled for release in the next two months.

The Matrix Revolutions and the final Lord of The Rings film, Return of The King, are among those expected to boost the box office.

Audiences are at their highest for 30 years, with 176 million admissions in 2002.

However, 2003 got off to a slow start with ticket sales in the first six months 10% down on 2002.

A lack of blockbusters, together with unseasonably warm weather in the first six months of the year, are thought to have contributed to the decline in admissions.


The biggest film of the year so far is The Matrix Reloaded, with a gross of 33.1m.

The Matrix Revolutions, the final part in the sci-fi trilogy, is tipped to be an even bigger hit when it opens on 5 November.

Romantic comedy Love Actually, from Four Weddings And A Funeral writer Richard Curtis, is also tipped to do well.

And the last film in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, The Return Of The King, is expected to be huge - but as it is not released until 17 December, its takings are likely to be spread into 2004 as well.

The box office has been boosted by a string of recent hits including the British comedy Calendar Girls.
Calendar Girls
Calendar Girls has been a huge hit since it opened in September

The film, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, has taken 16.5m since it was released in September. The box office for the month rose by 0.9% compared with the September 2002 box office.

Other recent successes have included Pirates of The Caribbean, which has taken 26m making it the second biggest film of the year so far, and Finding Nemo, which has made 16.1m after only two weeks on release.

The 2002 box office was helped by a large number of blockbusters including Star Wars: Attack of The Clones, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers and Spider-Man.

The latter is credited with giving cinemas the highest recorded admission figures since June 1972.

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