Star Wars, Spectre and Jurassic World drive box-office record
The Force Awakens expected to become the UK's highest-grossing film of all time
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, James Bond's latest outing in Spectre and last summer's blockbuster Jurassic World have contributed to a record year for the UK box office.
Total takings at cinemas across the country were £1.31bn last year, according to data compiled by Rentrak and reported by the Daily Telegraph. That's around a tenth higher than the previous all-time high set in 2012, when Skyfall posted the highest box office in UK history with £103.2m.
Its follow-up, Spectre, released last October, was 2015's biggest film – and the third highest-grossing of all time – with £94m. The Force Awakens was a close second, taking £87.1m despite only being on release for two weeks from 17 December.
JJ Abrams' revival of the sci-fi saga, the first under new franchise owner Disney, has since surpassed the latest Bond offering to become the biggest-grossing film released in 2015 and is certain to overtake Skyfall to become the UK's biggest release ever. The studio claims it already has this record in North America, where it has surpassed the $760.5m taken by 2009's Avatar.
Jurassic World came in at third place last year, with box-office takings of £64.5m. The highest ranked film not part of an established series was Pixar's animated hit Inside Out, which came in sixth with £39.2m.
"The audience will turn out for the films that grab their attention but they need a compelling reason to go, given competition from home entertainment services like Netflix and Amazon, and the cost-of-living squeeze on household finances," said Lucy Jones, executive director at Rentrak.
"This was emphatically proven by the record-breaking results seen in 2015, which delivered not only the biggest box-office total of all time, but also Star Wars: The Force Awakens, now poised to take the crown for the biggest film of all time."