2009 saw the best year for UK cinemas since 2002, with 173,461,335 admissions, a 5.6 per cent increase on 2008, itself seen as a strong year. Figures towards the end of the year in particular gave every sign that the UK public’s appetite for visiting the cinema remains undiminished.

Box office receipts for UK and Ireland reached £1 billion for the first time at £1,054,351,651 (the UK only-figure being£943,750,158) after a year when the attractions of 3D cinema increasingly made their presence felt. By the end of 2009 there were well over 400 3D-equipped sites pulling in on average over three times the gross revenues of their 2D counterparts for the same film.

That effect seems to be even more marked for the current no.1 film Avatar,  where 3D screens are at this moment taking over seven times the box office of their 2D equivalent.

Commenting on the figures, CEA Chief Executive Phil Clapp said:

“UK cinemas have had another remarkable year. As the UK slowly emerges from recession, audiences show no sign of reducing their cinema attendance.  The cinema offer of affordable and escapist entertainment in a welcoming environment continues to be a huge pull.  The sheer quality and diversity of the overall film slate in 2009  – with every expectation that this will be even better in 2010 – must have been the determining factor.

At the same time the emergence of 3D as a powerful new entertainment technology has undoubtedly had an effect. Cinema audiences are really excited by 3D films and with standout performers Up and Avatar being potential awards contenders this is an entertainment offer that is really coming of age.”

During 2010, UK cinema audiences can look forward to an incredible range of exciting and entertaining films, including:

The Princess & The Frog; The Wolfman; The Lovely Bones; Alice In Wonderland; Shutter Island; Clash Of The Titans; How To Train Your Dragon; Iron Man 2; Robin Hood; Prince Of Persia; Sex And The City 2; Shrek Forever After; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Toy Story 3; Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows 1; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Tron: Legacy; The Green Hornet; Inception; and many more.