The figures, which rep the third highest for the territory on record, were largely driven by the latest Bond installment "Skyfall," which took $1.1 billion worldwide and indies "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" ($135 million) and "The Woman in Black" ($128 million).
Blighty's box office remained robust despite stiff competition from the London Olympic and Paralympic games, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Euro 2012 football championship. U.K. box office receipts in 2012 totaled $1.68 billion, the highest on record while overall admissions were up 0.5% to 172.5 million, the third highest figure of the past 40 years.
For the first time ever, 36% of the total U.K. market were over-45's, repping the largest proportion of the U.K. cinema audience, a trend fuelled by an increasing number of films tailored for and marketed to older auds.
Actioners proved to entice Brit auds in 2012, taking 28% of the box office and pushing usual favorite comedy into second place. Pics such as "The Dark Knight Rises" ($86.4 million), "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" ($80.1 million) and "Marvel Avengers Assemble" ($79.7 million) were the highest earners after "Skyfall."
And highest grossing U.K. indies were "Woman in Black" and "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," each surpassing $30 million at the Brit box office.
While the DVD market continues to decline in the territory, VoD looks fast to be closing the gap: The total VoD market for film was estimated to be worth $373 million in 2012, a 50% increase on the previous year, with auds increasingly streaming films online using subscription services such as Lovefilm and Netflix. This led to a 123% increase in online film revenues throughout the year.
Elsewhere, production spend in Blighty was down 27% to $1.4 billion and inward investment contributed $967 million, down 38%.
© 2013 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC