Film takings hit record but ticket sales down

THE British film industry enjoyed "mixed fortunes" last year with record box office receipts but a decline in the number of cinema visits, according to newly published statistics.

The British Film Institute's (BFI) statistical yearbook showed fans watched an average of 81 films in 2010.

Box office receipts rose to 988 million, up 5 per cent on 2009, but the number of cinema tickets sold was down 2 per cent to just over 169 million in the same period.

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The vast majority of receipts came from the 100 biggest films, which accounted for 90 per cent of takings. The biggest earner was Toy Story 3, which pulled in almost 74m. Other big earners include Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, at 52m and Alice In Wonderland, which brought in 42m. Early figures for The King's Speech, which was released in January, show it earned more than 45m in the first half of 2011.

BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill said: "The numbers and trends in this latest yearbook, brought bang up to date by the half-year production and box office figures for 2011 so far, tell a story of mixed fortunes in British film.

"Overall it is holding up remarkably well, with more people watching more film on more platforms, an increase in inward investment and significant activity in low-budget film-making."