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Skyfall helps Europe hit record box office in 2012


Story by Jack Foley

JAMES Bond adventure Skyfall has been credited with helping Europe to set a record-breaking $8.5 billion box office in 2012.

The European Audiovisual Observatory released the figures on Tuesday (May 7, 2013) to show that total box office revenue in the 27 countries of the European Union topped last year’s record to set a new benchmark.

And while Hollywood productions still count for a large majority of the revenue, European films have been making gains.

Skyfall, in particular, sold 44.4 million tickets across the EU last year, making it the most successful film in the region.

The only other European title to crack the top 10 in 2012 was French comedy Untouchable, which sold 24 million tickets.

Ice Age: Continental Drift proved to be the most popular US import, selling 31.4 million tickets across Europe, while marquee titles such as Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Avengers also did well.

Action thriller Taken 2 (10.4 million tickets sold) and Juan Antonio Bayona’s tsunami drama The Impossible also performed well – the latter selling 6.5 million tickets last year, the bulk of them in Spain.

The box office total was reached despite a fall in admissions and several territories experiencing a major recession-led drop in sales.

Hence, higher ticket prices fuelled the box office bonanza given that a total of 933.3 million tickets were sold across the EU last year, 2.2% fewer than in 2011.

And the recession hit some cinema-going hard in certain countries, with attendance figures in Portugal down 12%, Italy down 10%, Greece down 6.7% and Spain down 5%.

To counter that, Germany rose by 4.3%, Finland was up by a massive 19.7% and Romania rose by 15.4%, while the UK held steady thanks in no small part to 007.

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