It is just three months since the UK cinema industry celebrated its
most successful weekend in history - and already the record has been
Over the weekend of 11-13 February, admissions reached a new high of
pounds 14.2 million, pushed by the release of Toy Story 2 and The Beach.
Last year as a whole was a boom period for the industry, with admissions
at their highest for 25 years and box office receipts up by 11 per
This is being matched by an increase in ad revenue and higher-profile
advertisers. Revenue for 1999 is expected to reach pounds 123 million,
according to figures released by the Advertising Association.
This is an increase of 27 per cent on last year, driven by a record
number of high-grossing films: ten films pulled over pounds 15 million
each, compared with six in 1998.
A demographic shift has led to the production of films with a broader
appeal, according to Craig Harris, national sales director at Pearl &
Dean. He cites movies like Shakespeare in Love and Titanic as
’Since 1994 there has been an overall decline in the population of
15- to 34-year-olds. The film industry has, by necessity, targeted a
wider audience range,’ he says.
In fact, 68 per cent of cinema goers are now under 35, compared with 73
per cent five years ago. However, the number of ABC1s has increased,
with 66 per cent falling into this category. In fact, the cinema
audience has one of the highest ABC1 profiles in media, higher than
Channel 4 and BBC 2.
This broader, more upmarket audience is attracting a similar kind of
advertiser. In 1995, food and drink accounted for 50 per cent of
In 1999, half the adspend for the year was spread across the top four
categories - food, drink, cosmetics and cars. With the emergence of
multiplexes, which now take 65 per cent of admissions, mainstream
national advertisers have almost completely replaced ads for local curry
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