LONDON — Admissions to U.K. movie theaters surged 10% to 83 million during the first half of the year, compared with the same period last year.
A total of 358 movies were released in theaters in the U.K. and Ireland up to July 12 this year. These grossed £591 million ($917 million), compared with £490 million ($760 million) from 342 films over the same period last year.
Leading the upturn is “Jurassic World,” which has grossed more than £57 million ($88.4 million) to date at the U.K./Ireland box office, followed by “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (£48 million/$74.5 million), and “Fast & Furious 7” (£38.5 million/$59.7 million).
U.K. movies, which include U.S./U.K. films such as “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “The Theory of Everything,” and independent U.K. films such as “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” accounted for 32% of the box office, compared with 26.8% over the first half of 2014, and the highest since 2012.
The statistics were released Thursday by the British Film Institute.
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “Today’s half-year report shows that U.K. audiences are continuing to flock to the cinemas, ensuring film continues to be a vibrant contributor to the economy. It is particularly exciting for the U.K. creative sector to see films made in the U.K. achieving a strong share of the U.K. box-office market.”
The top films over the period include U.S./U.K. productions “The Theory of Everything” (£21.5 million/$33.4 million), “Cinderella” (£21 million/$32.6 million) and “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (£16.4 million/$25.4 million).
The BFI also issued statistics on U.K. film production in the first half of the year. Production spend was £594 million ($921 million) across 79 films. Of this, “inward investment” films, in other words, foreign-funded productions, accounted for £518 million ($803 million) of spend across 21 feature films. The spend on high-end TV production in the U.K. was £279 million ($432 million) across 30 productions, including “Downton Abbey” season 6 and “Outlander” season 2.
The past 12 months (July 2014 to June 2015) have seen a total spend on production in the U.K. of £1.2 billion ($1.86 billion) compared with £1.55 billion ($2.4 billion) for the previous 12 months (July 2013 to June 2014).