Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 12:39 UK

Mamma Mia! boosts summer cinema

Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!
Meryl Streep is one of the stars of the sun-kissed musical movie

Hit musical film Mamma Mia! has helped UK cinema to enjoy its best summer of attendances in recent years.

The Abba-themed movie has attracted 12 million cinema-goers and taken more than 62m since its release in July.

Some 53m cinema visits were made in the last three months - up three million on the same period in 2007, says the Film Distributors' Association (FDA).

Poor weather, a wide range of films and the feelgood factor of Mamma Mia! helped boost figures, it said.

Mark Batey, chief executive of the FDA, told BBC News that Mamma Mia's success had "exceeded everybody's expectations".

Escapism

But he added that the impressive summer box office was down to attracting the public to seeing a wide range of films.

"Numbers that big cannot come from just one or two films," he said, mentioning the success of Batman epic The Dark Knight, which attracted eight million summer admissions.

"There are still a vast number of other titles firing away to make up the 53 million visits," added Mr Batey.

Mr Batey also said that going to the cinema may have become a popular pastime in uncertain economic times as it has done in the past.

"Cinema has proven itself to be remarkably resilient in times of downturn.

"It is a form of escape for everyone, is reasonably priced and can be universally enjoyed," he said.

Mr Batey added that this summer offered cinema-goers various kinds of escape, from the "light and frothy" fun of Mamma Mia! to the darkness of Batman.

Meanwhile, comedy action film Tropic Thunder has beaten Taken to remain at the top of the UK box office for a second week.

The movie made 1.3m, ahead the new release starring Liam Neeson, which took 1.1m.

It was followed by new entries Righteous Kill - co-starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino - at three, and Death Race at number four.

Mamma Mia!, which has been on release for 12 weeks, slipped from two to five.


SEE ALSO
Mamma Mia! takes box office crown
15 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
UK cinema attendances 'on the up'
21 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
UK cinema attendance down by 5%
14 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Mamma Mia! scoops two film awards
09 Sep 08 |  Entertainment

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