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U.K. pic admissions up 8% in 1996

LONDON – British cinema admissions rose 8% in 1996 to 123.5 million, according to figures published by the Cinema Advertising Assn.

That means the upward curve of U.K. ticket sales has been restored after the blip in 1995 when admissions fell for the first time in a decade.

The current year has also started strongly, with the first weekend in January proving the biggest-grossing three-day period in the history of British cinema. Thanks largely to “Evita,” “101 Dalmatians” and “Sleepers,” U.K. theaters reported a gross of £8.6 million ($14.5 million) from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5.

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