An exceptional slate and a period of unprecedented ongoing investment in the cinema experience by UK operators saw UK box office hit an all-time high of £1,240,384,119 in 2015.
While final admissions figures are still awaited, it is clear that 2015 will represent a key high-point for the industry in recent times, buoyed by a year-round run of strong film releases, most notably SPECTRE and Star Wars: the Force Awakens, the latter now well on course to be the most successful film of all time at the UK box office.
The foundation of this success though is an unprecedented level of investment by cinema operators into the big screen experience. On the back of the £200 million conversion to digital cinema technology, the last few years have seen massive further investment, including the opening of a large number of new or refurbished cinema sites across the country.
Welcoming these latest figures, UK Cinema Association Phil Clapp said:
“The UK cinema industry entered the year on the back of what had been a challenging 2014, but with high hopes that we would now see a substantial re-engagement of audiences with the big screen experience. In fact 2015 exceeded all expectations, with clear signs that we have further re-ignited the British public’s love for cinema.
What is particularly pleasing is the extent to which this has been achieved on the back of strong admissions figures across all quarters of the year, the result of great support from colleagues in film distribution in ensuring an even film release schedule. The fact that in 2015 five films exceeded the most successful film of 2014 in terms of box office (The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies) speaks for itself.
We cannot however be complacent – 2016 is already shaping up to be another extraordinary year for UK cinema, and we need to do all we can to ensure that those who attended in 2015 are encouraged to continue their cinema-going habit.’
The top ten films for 2015 were as follows (note: box office figures up to 31 December for UK and Ireland):
- SPECTRE (Sony): £94 million
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney): £87.1 million
- Jurassic World (Universal): £64.5 million
- The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Walt Disney): £48.3 million
- Minions (Universal): £47.8 million
- Inside Out (Walt Disney): £39.2 million
- Fast & Furious 7 (Universal): £38.6 million
- Fifty Shades Of Grey (Universal): £35.1 million
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (Lionsgate): £28.1 million
- Home (20th Century Fox): £25.4 million