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UK summer box office up by 4.6% on 2015

Finding Dory

Story by Jack Foley

THE summer of 2016 has proved to be a lucrative one at UK cinemas with box office revenue up 4.6% on the same period in 2015 – and this despite the competition posed by football’s European Championships in June.

The biggest hit of the season was Disney-Pixar’s Finding Dory, which took £38.9 million in the UK. The figure, which continues to grow while the film remains on general release, is only outdone by Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, unless the 3D rerelease of Monsters, Inc (£2.45m) is added to the film’s original tally (£37.91m).

Coming in a close second, meanwhile, was fellow Disney release Captain America: Civil War with £36.94m.

Both films struggled to match the success of last summer’s biggest release, Jurassic World (with £64.5m), as well as Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (£48.3m) and Minions (£47.8m), falling more in the £20-40 million range occupied by late summer releases Inside Out and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

But overall, 2016 saw its successes spread more widely, with six titles hitting the £20-40 million range: The Secret Life of Pets, Suicide Squad, The BFG and Jason Bourne.

Hence, while box office for June was down on 2015, it has been robustly up in July and August, with Suicide Squad, Finding Dory and Jason Bourne all massively contributing to the late-summer surge.

That means that total UK box office revenue for the 18-week period beginning with the arrival of Captain America: Civil War at the end of April is £456.0m, compared with £436.0m for the same period in 2015 – a rise of 4.6%.

Of those releases, Steven Spielberg’s The BFG represented the most eye-catching given that its US performance ($55m) has seen it dismissed as one of the biggest flops of the director’s career.

By contrast, UK audiences – who share a deeper affinity with the work of Roald Dahl, upon whose book The BFG is based – helped the film to £28.7m – which means it is a sizeable hit.

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