Boom at the box office continuing, cinemas report

Britain's cinemas shrugged off the threat from ever more sophisticated home-entertainment equipment to record further growth in the first half of 2010.

Cinemagoers spent a monthly average of £86.1m on tickets in the first half of 2010, and box-office receipts of £516.7m between January and June were 3 per cent ahead of the first six months of 2009, figures from the Film Distributors' Association (FDA) showed. Distributors released 288 titles in UK cinemas in the first half of this year, 18 more than in the same period last year.

James Cameron's spectacular Avatar was the most popular film, followed by Alice In Wonderland and Iron Man 2. The figures were released amid rumours that the private-equity investor Permira is plotting a major investment in European cinema chains and has approached Vue Entertainment.