Belfast Telegraph

Cinema box office takings fall

Box office takings across the UK and Ireland have seen their biggest fall for almost a quarter of a century, according to new figures.

Ticket sales generated more than £1.13 billlion in 2014 but fell by 2.9% from the year before - the most since the figures began being tracked in 1991.

Industry analysts Rentrak said the top grossing film of the year was The Lego Movie which pulled in £34.3 million, closely followed by The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies which has made £33.5 million and The Inbetweeners 2 which made £33.3 million.

None of the films released last year made more than £40 million, compared to four films from 2013 which passed that milestone.

But big things are expected for this year with new films including the latest James Bond and the Star Wars sequel among the big names set to hit cinemas.

Rentrak UK executive director Lucy Jones said: "When considering the causes of the drop in box-office, we could point to widening home entertainment options, with online services enabling easy downloading of films and TV box-sets for binge-viewing, or the increasing cost of cinema tickets.

"However our view remains that it's a product-driven market. The audience will turn out for the films that grab their attention, but they need a compelling reason to go - whether that's a must-see sequel, big-budget effects or 5-star reviews. It's a crowded marketplace, with over 830 releases last year including live events. To get over the £50 million level, you have to motivate irregular cinema-goers to book that ticket, and 2014 was a year off for many of the major franchises like Bond and Avengers."

Top 10 films in UK & Ireland in 2014:

1. The Lego Movie: £34.3 million

2. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies: £33.5 million

3. The Inbetweeners 2: £33.3 million

4. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes: £32.7 million

5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1: £30.1 million

6. Guardians Of The Galaxy: £28.5 million

7. Paddington: £27.9 million

8. X-Men: Days Of Future Past: £27.1 million

9. How To Train Your Dragon 2: £25 million

10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2: £24 million

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