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24/11/2004

Film Council report shows cinema-going is on the up

'Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban' and 'Troy' were the British films most likely to be seen by UK cinema-goers in the first half of 2004, a new UK Film Council report has found.
July was the most popular cinema-going month, and by the end of August more than 117 million visits had been made to the cinema, up 10% on the same period in 2003.
A total of £576.34 million was taken at the UK and Ireland box office from January until end of August, an increase of 11% on the same period in 2003 at £517.45 million. London, the Midlands and Lancashire made up the largest number of cinema-goers accounting for half of all UK admissions.
While the number of recent UK films shown on television (in the first six months of the year) increased by 51% overall (compared to the same period in 2003) this still represents a small proportion - 4.5% across all five channels - of the total films shown.
Commenting on the latest film figures, the UK Film Council’s Chief Executive Officer, John Woodward, said: “Cinema-going remains one of the most popular forms of entertainment in this country. The summer months in particular proved to be a sizzler at the box office with more than 117 million cinema visits by the end of August.
“British films have put in a strong performance at the UK box office so far this year with two UK films – Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban and Troy in the top five of the biggest earners at the box office.
“The challenge now is to ensure that people across the UK have access to a wide range of films, and that more British films are seen by audiences at home and abroad.
“While it’s encouraging to see an increase in the number of recent British films shown on television, it’s a small improvement on a low base. The proportion of recent British films on television overall remains low. Decisive action is needed by broadcasters in the investment in and depiction of British films. Such an improvement would benefit both our culture and our economy.”
(GB)
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