Cinema Admissions Rise in Europe in 2017 Amid Record Results in Russia, U.K.

Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm
'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Studio blockbusters including 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Despicable Me 3' and 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' helped drive record box-office results in the U.K. and strong performances in France and Russia.

Cinema admissions ticked up slightly in Europe last year, according to official figures released Wednesday by the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the body representing European cinema trade associations and key operators.

Admissions for all UNIC territories were up 2.1 percent to more than 1.3 billion tickets sold last year, with most major territories showing growth.

The U.K. enjoyed a record year, with box office jumping 2.5 percent and admissions up 1.4 percent, while France had its third-best performance of the past 50 years.

Hollywood tentpoles were the main drivers of box office and admissions across Europe, with top titles including Beauty and the Beast, Despicable Me 3, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Fate of the Furious and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. But local-language titles — French comedy Raid Dingue, Germany's Suck Me Shakespeare 3, Spanish animation Tadeo Jones 2 — were among some of the strongest performers.

Last year Russia passed the 200 million admissions mark for the first time to become the largest territory in Europe in terms of tickets sold with 213.6 million, followed by France with 213.0 million and U.K. with 170.6 million.

Final box-office tallies are still being collated and will be released by UNIC later in the year.