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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 17:59 GMT
UK box office bucks annual slump
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The latest Potter film was seen by 3m people in its first weekend
Cinemas in the UK and Ireland beat the takings drops seen in the US and other countries by recording an overall rise in 2005, latest figures show.

The box office for the year rose 1% on 2004 to 840m, according to research company Nielsen EDI.

This compares with a 4% fall in the US and Canada, down to $8.83bn (5bn), reports Screen Daily.

Many regions saw their overall takings fall, including a 30% slump in Poland and a 14% drop in Switzerland.

Screen Daily said that without Ireland's box office performance, the UK would have seen "a more definite significant rise".

Individual figures for Ireland have yet to be published but they are expected to show a year-on-year drop of about 12%.

The success of films with British-centred stories have been attributed as key to the UK and Ireland box office success.

Thomas Sangster and Emma Thompson in Nanny McPhee
Nanny McPhee starring EmmaThompson was a surprise hit

The release of Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit and Nanny McPhee helped the box office for October rise by 16% on the same month in the previous year.

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and The Chronicles of Narnia were among the hits to boost December's figures to a 30% rise on 2004.

The Film Distributors' Association's chief executive Mark Batey told the BBC News website in November that filmgoers in the British isles were enjoying "a good crop of homegrown stories".

He said other leading European countries had not had similar domestic hits to lift their performances.

"One reason I say France or Germany are down is they've also had the effect of the lacklustre general commercial product coming through," he said.

"But they haven't had a similar boost from local French films or local German films."


SEE ALSO:
UK cinemas enjoy box office high
23 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
'Record UK haul' for Potter film
21 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Potter faces Narnia fantasy challenge
18 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Gromit film 'lifts UK box office'
01 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Summer slump hits US box office
05 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
European cinema suffers downturn
13 Jul 05 |  Entertainment


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