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BOX OFFICE UK

UK figures rise by 6%

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UK figures rise by 6%

The UK box office rose by 6% in the first half of 2007 compared to the same period last year, according to figures released by trade body Film Distributors’ Association (FDA). During this period 76.9 million tickets were sold, compared to 72.3 million last year, accounting for revenues of £396.8m.

The FDA credits the increase to the popularity of British films such as Mr. Bean’s Holiday [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Hot Fuzz [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Notes on a Scandal [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and the appeal of threequels like Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Spider-Man 3, as well as the latest in the long-running Rocky franchise – Rocky Balboa.

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Remarkably, the figures do not include the stupendous box office performance of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which was released after the end of the first half of the year.

The FDA also pointed out that audiences were being offered a greater choice, with as many as 246 films getting a theatrical release during the period. In addition, there was a 4% rise in advertising spend from UK distributors with £82.4m being spent. Of this, TV spots accounted for £34.2m and £28.8m on outdoor advertising with the remaining being spent on radio and online spots.

FDA CEO Mark Batey said, “Coming off such a strong start to the year, this summer’s wonderful line-up is already attracting cinemagoers in record numbers. The schedules are jam-packed week in, week out, and it’s intensely competitive all the way, but overall prospects for the year look very encouraging”.

The FDA has also predicted that more than 35 million people will visit cinemas in July and August. Actor Jude Law said, “The diverse array of films from all over the world due for release over the forthcoming months is proof not only that cinema is a vital and thriving art form, but that it is also amazingly resilient against competition from new technologies. There’s still something thrilling about seeing a film in a cinema”.

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