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U.K. BIZ SMASHING

6 pix top5 mil admissions as habit forms

LONDON — A record six films beat the 5 million admissions mark in the U.K. in 1996, in contrast to 1995, when only three bettered 5 million.

The six — “Independence Day,” “Toy Story,” “Babe,” “Jumanji,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Golden- eye” — accounted for a third of all annual admissions and were part of a top 10 that grossed $277 million, and a top 25 grossing $455 million.

The totals, released by the Cinema Advertising Assn., were accompanied by statistics indicating that an increase in product diversity since 1991 had helped double the number of 35-plus as well as 7-to-14-year-olds regularly attending cinemas.

Multis proliferate

Multiplex attendance was up dramatically on the back of 500 new multi screens since 1991, accounting for 40% of all screens in 1996 and 46% of admissions.

Ninety-four percent of 15-to-24-year-olds and 88% of 25-to-34-year-olds said they are now regular cinemagoers, up from 82% and 65%, respectively, 10 years ago.

The stats also indicate that 13% of the people who saw the cult film “Trainspotting” saw it more than once, and that 65% of the “Sense & Sensibility” audience was over 35.

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