Spending exceeds $600 million as box office flattens

LONDON — U.K. film distributors’ prints and advertising expenditure last year was up 3.3% on 2005.

P&A spending in 2006 totaled $601 million (£306 million) of which $265 million went on prints and trailers and $336 million on media advertising, according to figures released by the Film Distributors’ Association.

The lion’s share of the media advertising, worth $143 million, went on TV. Outdoor ads accounted for $118 million and $57 million was ploughed into national and regional press advertising.

Additional sums were spent on campaign production, publicity and premieres. There were 68 premieres in 2006, 41 of which took place at London’s Leicester Square.

But despite the rise in P&A spend last year, total box office in Blighty only inched up a tad, with total grosses standing at $1.6332 billion in 2006, compared with $1.6331 billion in 2005.

The number of films released zoomed from 467 in 2005 to 505 last year — an average of almost 10 a week.

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