U.K. film distribs expect busy summer


LONDON -- The U.K. cinema market is anticipating a blockbusting summer season, the Film Distributors' Assn. said Wednesday.

A statement from the FDA noted that U.K. cinema admissions, after leveling off in 2006, stood at 39 million from January to March 2007, up from 36.7 million in the same period last year.

May 2007 was the biggest May in five years in terms of U.K. cinema attendance -- underlining a strong spring season and pointing toward what should be the U.K.'s biggest summer in decades.

The FDA cited a marked upward trend in U.K. cinemagoing since the mid-1980s, with the anticipation that 35 million cinema visits will be made in July and August. Cinemagoing is at its most popular for 30 years, the industry body added.

"Across the U.K., audiences are falling deeper in love with the cinema," FDA chief executive Mark Batey said. "This summer, when there is no major football tournament, local cinemas are offering the most compelling and enticing lineup for years. The U.K. is the world's No. 3 cinema market and 2007 promises to be a record-breaking year."