P&A spend a U.K. record

Media advertising cost $303 mil

LONDON — U.K. distribs spent a record £283.5 million ($541 million) releasing movies in 2004, up 5.6% from the previous year, but box office rose just 3.6% to $1.6 billion, according to figures published by the Film Distributors Assn.

Admissions rose to 171.3 million, up 2.4% from 2003 but still short of their 2002 peak.

“It is distributors’ huge, pivotal investment in film prints and advertising that spurs cinemagoing film by film, week by week, ultimately sustaining the wellbeing of our vibrant cinema industry,” said Mark Batey, chief exec of the FDA.

The average P&A expenditure per movie was $1.2 million. Media advertising cost $303 million, with three-quarters of that devoted to TV spots and outdoor posters.

Comedy was the most successful genre, followed by fantasy/adventure. Together, those two categories accounted for $808 million in box office, more than half the year’s total.

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