Box Office – UK
Country Focus: Investors returning to the UK
Admissions show 7.5% growth
by Naman Ramachandran
In spite of dwindling production and the recession, film-going remains a favourite activity for British consumers, as evidenced by cinema admissions rising by 7.5% in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008.
In all, cinema operators sold 41.4 million tickets from January-March 2009, a figure fuelled by the phenomenal success of Slumdog Millionaire [+see also:
interview: Danny Boyle
film profile]. The rise in cinema attendance is likely to increase, given the slew of potential blockbusters due to release in the summer including the much-awaited Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) Chief Executive Phil Clapp said, “Certainly there is no sign that the public’s ongoing enthusiasm for cinema shows any sign of abating. While nothing is taken for granted, with a strong slate in prospect over the coming months, it seems increasingly likely that this will be another strong year for UK operators.”
“By any measure, last summer was an exceptional one for UK cinema. With so much else to concern our customers at the moment, we want to remind them that the cinema is the best place for captivating and escapist entertainment. This summer’s strong slate of films bears that out,” he added.
Carrying on from last year, a new Summer of Cinema trailer - produced by the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA) is being shown in UK cinemas with the support of the CEA.
Commenting on the trailer, FDA Chief Executive Mark Batey said, “This is not a film specific message. Our message is that the cinema is the most fantastic place to experience new stories.”
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