Record-breaking Skyfall lifts cinema attendance in 2012

UK CINEMAS enjoyed a bumper year in 2012, as customers bought 173m film tickets and splashed out £1.17bn on admissions, figures from trade group the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) have shown.

The record ticket revenues represented an annual four per cent rise, during a year that was expected to be subdued by the impact of the summer’s sport.

Although admissions declined by 17 per cent in the third quarter of the year, as a weak film schedule coincided with London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, the success of late films such as Skyfall and The Hobbit revived the industry.

Ticket admissions were up 24 per cent in October, and 36 per cent in November, as Bond film Skyfall became the first film to rake in more than £100m at British cinemas.

The rise in admissions was slight, but better than many expected, and cinemas profited from rises in ticket prices. The average price of a cinema ticket increased around 70p to £6.75, the figures show.

The CEA said that cinemas’ investments in digital screens, which will allow greater flexibility over what films to show, will boost the industry this year. All screens are expected to be digital this year.