3D driving U.K. box office

Boxoffice up 8% on the first eight months of 2009

LONDON – The big screen return to comedy for John Landis, more than a dozen releases requiring 3D glasses and a remake of a 1980s cult classic are among the movies hoping to entice audiences across the U.K. to part with their hard-earned leisure cash.

Trade organization The Film Distributors' Association, whose 22 company strong membership includes all the studio's overseas releasing arms, played up the fall and winter release slates with a showy compilation trailer here Monday.

It's 75 seconds mix of 40 films included footage from "Burke and Hare," 3-D titles such as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and "Jackass 3-D" as well as "Tron: Legacy."

The FDA says it hopes "and expects" there to be in excess of 40 million cinema visits in the U.K., equivalent to two-thirds of the entire population. The organization said there are 100 movies on the release roster from October to the end of the year in the U.K.

It's confident prediction comes on the back of the organization's latest stats that show the 374 titles released between January and August this year clocked up £786 million ($1.21 billion) in ticket sales at the box office, up 8% on the first eight months of 2009.

The top five to date this year sees "Toy Story 3" hit the top spot, garnering audiences in excess of 10 million in the U.K.

The FDA also noted that three of the top five movies "Alice In Wonderland," "Shrek Forever After" and "Toy Story 3" had all rolled out in 3-D.