1992 U.K. B.O. highest in 12 yrs.

A Christmas surge in moviegoing lifted 1992 U.K. ticket sales to their highest level in 12 years, according to figures released by the Cinema Advertising Assn.

The CAA recorded 98 million admissions to cinemas that screen advertising, compared to 93 million in 1991.

When the handful of theaters that do not carry commercials is included, the ticket sales total rises to an estimated 102.5 million, a marginal improvement over the 1991 figure of 101.6 million.

The U.K. exhibition business has recovered from its mid-1980s slump, when admissions slipped toward 50 million.

But the audience growth of the late ’80s, prompted by the arrival of U.S.-style multiplexes, now appears to have ground to a halt, with ticket sales stuck at the still-unimpressive 100 million level.

Exhibitors had expected the 1992 tally to fall slightly short of 1991, but December proved a boom month at the box office, registering a 63% increase in admissions over the previous year. This was largely due to the performance of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and “The Bodyguard.”

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