Cinema attendance hits 30-year high

Cinema admissions in 2002 reached their highest level since 1972, with audiences up 13 per cent on 2001 to 176 million, according the Cinema Advertising Association.

The CAA attributes this significant growth to the quality of the films released throughout the year. Movies such as Ocean's Eleven, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, the second Harry Potter film and Scooby Doo ensured that each individual month performed strongly when compared with previous years.

Because of the quality of the films, 2002 also produced more blockbusters than any other year, with a record 12 films grossing more than £20 million compared to seven in 2001, four in 2000 and two in 1999. The second instalment of Harry Potter - Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets - proved the biggest hit of the year and took £22 million at the box office in its opening weekend, which is the largest figure ever recorded.

Total box office takings were £755 million: an increase of 17 per cent year on year and 275 per cent over the decade.

Debbie Chalet, the president of the CAA, said: "We have seen a resurgence in cinema-going during the past four years. The range of films has never been better, as we can see in the top 20 of 2002. This means advertisers have more choice and can benefit from all types of audiences seeing their advertisement in a creative and memorable way."

The CAA is predicting that 2003 will be another strong year for cinema with the release of films including The Hulk, Tomb Raider 2 and the final instalment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Return of the King.

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