Boosted by Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the latest James Bond installment Spectre, box office in the UK and Ireland had a record-breaking 2015, earning a combined $1.91B, according to Rentrak. That figure reps the highest-grossing year ever, beating the previous highest year in 2012. The figure of 2015 is a 15.3% rise on 2014, and a rise of 11.1% on 2012. Aside from Star Wars and Spectre, last year also boasted sequels with the final episode of the Hunger Games franchise, Jurassic World, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Fast & Furious 7. Animation was also a big draw with Minions, Inside Out and Home rounding out the top ten.
“The titles taking the top two spots are no surprise: based on two of the most successful media franchises of all time, these films were widely expected to break records and bolster the 2015 box office,” said Rentrak in a statement.
The top grossing film at the UK and Ireland box office was Spectre, with $136M. That film is still in theaters, as is JJ Abrams’ box office juggernaut Star Wars: The Force Awakens which was at $127M after only two weeks of release ($148.7M through Tuesday). That figure will continue to rise in the weeks ahead.
Universal enjoyed a stand-out year with four titles in the top ten: Jurassic World, Minions, Fast & Furious 7 and Fifty Shades of Grey. Studiocanal was the biggest indie distrib of the year, wrestling the crown away from previous champ Entertainment Film. Boosted in large part by the gangbuster success of Working Title’s Legend, starring Tom Hardy as the Kray twins, Studiocanal earned $79.6M (£54.5M). Legend accounted for $26.9M (£18.4M) of that haul. The company’s performance was another indication of the sterling work being done by Studiocanal UK chief Danny Perkins and his team.
Another notable indie success was John Crowley’s Brooklyn, about Irish immigrants settling in America, which performed very strongly in Ireland, earning $2.7M (£1.9M) there alone, repping 37% of its $7.2M (£5M) total for the UK and Ireland.
The top ten films for 2015 are:
1. Spectre (Sony): $136M (£94M)*
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney): $127M (£87.1M)*
3. Jurassic World (Universal): $94M (£64.5M)
4. The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Walt Disney): $70M (£48.3M)
5. Minions (Universal): $70M (£47.8M)
6. Inside Out (Walt Disney): $57m (£39.2M)
7. Fast & Furious 7 (Universal): $56M (£38.6M)
8. Fifty Shades Of Grey (Universal): $51M (£35.1M)
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (Lionsgate): $41M (£28.1M)
10. Home (20th Century Fox): $37M (£25.4M)
*Still in release