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U.K.-Ireland Box Office Rises 1.45% to All-Time High

Variety logo Variety 1/6/2017 Leo Barraclough
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The cinema box office in the U.K. and Ireland, one of the world’s top-five territories, rose 1.45% last year to £1.33 billion ($1.64 billion), according to comScore, the best-ever year in pound sterling terms, although a sharp decline in comparison with the 2015 dollar total ($1.9 billion) due to the dramatic fall in the pound following the Brexit decision.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” led the way with £56.4 million ($69.4 million), followed by “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” with £52.1 million ($64.2 million) Both films are still on release. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” was third with £48.1 million ($59.2 million). All three were produced in the U.K.

After that came “The Jungle Book” on £46.2 million ($56.9 million), “Finding Dory” on £42.9 million ($52.8 million), and “Deadpool” with £37.8 million ($46.5 million).

Disney dominated the distributors’ league with five of the top 10 movies, and a 22.6% share. Fox followed with 16%, Warner Bros. with 15.2%, and Universal on 13.8%. eOne Films came next with 8.27%, thanks in large part to “The BFG,” which grossed £30.8 million ($37.8 million).

Lucy Jones, executive director at comScore, commented: “Appealing to a wide range of audience sectors rather than relying on a small number of record-breaking titles was the factor that made 2016 a success.”

Jones pointed out that, with the exception of Universal’s family animation “The Secret Life of Pets,” all of the top 10 films were sequels, spin-offs or remakes, but she added: “Any concerns about audience fatigue with familiar characters and scenarios were trumped by the high quality of filmmaking.”

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