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Tight race for top UK distributor title

The UK box office looks set for an end-of-year race to establish the biggest-grossing distributor of 2002.
While it is still too early to predict with any certainty, Screen Daily have reported that there is a real possibility that Entertainment Film Distributors could become the first independent distributor ever to finish on top of the chart.
Box office tallies for the year to October 27 reveal that Entertainment trailed only Buena Vista International after ten months. Particularly impressive, is the fact that the £105.3m taken by Entertainment to October 27, (giving the company a 16.3% market share), was achieved from just 16 releases.
In comparison Buena Vista's £105.9m (16.4%) was grossed from the releases of 27 titles, while third-placed 20th Century Fox's £104.6m (16.2%) was from 22 films.
The outstanding performance reflects the success that Entertainment has enjoyed throughout the year with 2001 holdover 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring' (£38m this year), as well as 2002 hits such as 'Gosford Park' (£12.3m), 'Blade II' (£9.1m) and Austin Powers In 'Goldmember' (£23.4m).
Meanwhile, Indie-hit 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' (£13.4m and counting) was still playing well throughout November.
It is the much anticipated blockbuster sequel 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers' (released December 18), however, that is expected to propel the independent distributor within sight of the UK box office crown.

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