UK box office avoids Hollywood slump

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer
(Credit: Disney)

While Hollywood has had one of the worst summers for over a decade, it appears that on this side of the pond it’s a very different matter.

The UK box office has hit the £1 billion mark in record time, according to figures from the Film Distributors’ Association.

Box office receipts are up 6% on 2016 – that’s a figure of an extra £60 million spent on movie tickets from last year.

2016’s end-of-year haul was £1.3 billion, which looks set to be beaten by the end of 2017.

Number one in the 2017 box office chart currently is Disney’s live-action remake of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, which pulled in £72.4 million.

(Credit: Warner Bros)

It’s followed by ‘Dunkirk’ (£56.3 million, 14% of its worldwide receipts), ‘Despicable Me 3’ (£46.9 million), ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ (£41 million), and ‘La La Land’ (£30.4 million).

Also in the top 10 are ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (£30.3 million), ‘Fast & Furious 8’ (£29.6 million), ‘Sing’ (£29.2 million), ‘The Boss Baby’ (£29.1 million) and ‘It’ (£27.5 million).

Lord Puttnam, the president of the FDA, said: “With cinemas offering uniquely memorable, pulse-quickening, out-of- home experiences, I sincerely hope audiences of every age will come out to enjoy the eclectic and exciting line-up exactly as the filmmakers intended – on the big screen.”

And things are expected to get even better, with likely massive box office hitters including ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, and ‘Justice League’ still to come, along with ‘Blade Runner 2049’, which should bring in some heavy footfall this weekend.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley adds: “There’s a fantastic mix of British films coming to cinema screens this Autumn – truly something for everyone. The UK film industry is one of our biggest success stories, and our films are loved and acclaimed by audiences all around the world. The strong, sustained growth of our film sector is great to see, and we are working with industry to make sure this continues.”

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