James Bond has broken box office records after Skyfall took in £103 million to become the biggest earner in UK cinema history.
The film, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig as the secret agent with a licence to kill, dominated the UK box office last year and earned more than one billion US dollars worldwide.
Other big crowd pullers in 2012 include The Dark Knight Rises which took £56.3 million at the UK box office, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which took £52.2 million and Marvel Avengers Assemble which took £51.9 million.
According to data collected in the 2013 BFI Statistical Yearbook, cinema admissions reached 172.5 million in 2012 which is the third highest level for 40 years and UK box office receipts totalled £1.1 billion - the highest on record.
More than a third of the cinema audience (36%) were aged over 45, the first time the over-45s have accounted for the largest proportion of filmgoers.
There was a decline in younger audiences with the 15-24 age group falling from 31% of the total audience in 2011 to 25% last year.
Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the BFI, said: "Three very British superheroes - Bond, Boyle and Bean - helped fly the flag for UK film during the Olympic opening ceremony and our suave British spy led something of an invasion into global cinemas in 2012.
"UK films captivated audiences and 007 spearheaded another strong year for UK film internationally, which collectively pulled in 5.3 billion US dollars and helped export British culture and creativity around the world in 2012. Our yearbook shows film's continued importance to the UK economy overall, with a record turnover of £7.7 billion and trade surplus of £1 billion in 2011."
Research showed there were 647 films released during the year - 89 more than the year before.