The UK is on course for its highest annual cinema attendance in almost 50 years, according to trade body the UK Cinema Association.
Latest figures for the month of November show that total theatrical admissions stood at 14,847,358, which is more than five per cent up on the same month in 2017. It leaves the sector on course to reach the 176M mark for the year, providing December performs as it has in recent years. It would mark the first time attendance has reached 176M since 1970.
There have been strong showings from a broad range of titles throughout the year, including Black Panther and the Mamma Mia! sequel. In recent months Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald and The Grinch have helped boost admissions to their current mark of 161M.
Exhibitors will be looking to Mary Poppins Returns to help fuel the bumper year for studio level releases. Last year, admissions reached 170M and box office stood at £1.3BN, its highest level in at least 15 years.
The UK remains a highly polarized and expensive market largely dominated by U.S. studio level fare. The latest data will certainly bring cheer to the UK’s commercial exhibition sector, which is contending with the growing pull of online entertainment and the ongoing economic uncertainty of Brexit.