BRITISH cinemas will reach takings of more than £1bn this year, for the first time ever.
Aggregate sales for the year stood at £985m last weekend, and the release of Avatar, directed by
James Cameron, saw the £1bn barrier broken at the weekend.
Blockbusters films like Slumdog Millionaire and the latest instalment of the Harry Potter series drew in large audiences, which coupled with rising ticket prices has led to the record-breaking takings.
Another factor is believed to be the recession, with people visiting the cinema offering escapism, not to mention a more affordable evening out.
Similar records are being set abroad. In the United States, box-office takings are over $9.7bn (£6bn).