The UK box office managed to match 2017’s total in 2018, while many of its European counterparts experienced a downward trend for the year.

France saw a three per cent drop and Italy fell five per cent, while the UK managed to drop just 0.1 per cent below last year’s figures.

The box office reached £1.277bn ($1.628bn/€1.422bn) for the year, down from 2017’s £1.279bn, according to the UK Cinema Association.

The UK reached this figure despite a summer heatwave, no James Bond or Star Wars releases and a World Cup to compete with.

In 2018, however, nine films surpassed the $40m mark, including Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Deadpool 2, Peter Rabbit, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, Incredibles 2, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and Avengers: Infinity War (which tops the year’s list with $96.6m).

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the cinema admissions figures have not yet been released, but it suggests they will surpass the 2017 numbers and could hit a 50-year-high.

November admissions reached 14.8 million, an increase of five per cent from the same month in 2017. This leaves the sector just 14 million short of the 176 million mark for 2018, the highest figure since 1970.

“We know that there has been significant strategic discounting in the sector so admissions will undoubtedly be up by a larger margin — how large we’re still waiting to hear,” Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, told The Hollywood Reporter. 

Image: Roger Green