VoD contributes to box office tumble

lego-movieBox office takings in the UK and Ireland were at their lowest for more than 23 years in 2014, according to industry analysts Rentrak.

Ticket sales generated more than £1.13 billion (€1.44bn) in 2014 but fell by 2.9 per cent from the year before – the most since the figures began being tracked in 1991.

The Lego Movie pulled in £34.3 million, closely followed by The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, which has made £33.5 million, and The Inbetweeners 2, which made £33.3 million.

None of the films released last year made more than £40 million, whereas four films from 2013 passed that milestone. Big things are expected for this year with the release of highly anticipated films including the latest James Bond, The Avengers sequel and the first in a new Star Wars trilogy.

Rentrak UK executive director Lucy Jones suggested more people were choosing to watch films at home, while cinema ticket prices were on the rise.

Jones commented: “When considering the causes of the drop in box-office, we could point to widening home entertainment options, with online services enabling easy downloading of films and TV box-sets for binge-viewing, or the increasing cost of cinema tickets. However our view remains that it’s a product-driven market. The audience will turn out for the films that grab their attention, but they need a compelling reason to go – whether that’s a must-see sequel, big-budget effects or 5-star reviews.

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