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UK cinemas crowded with sequels and spin-offs in 2018

Lily James, Cher and Amanda Seyfried at the premiere of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! (Ian West/PA)
Lily James, Cher and Amanda Seyfried at the premiere of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! (Ian West/PA)

Sequels, spin-offs and franchises dominated UK cinemas in 2018, new figures show – with only two genuinely stand-alone films making the box office top 10.

Avengers: Infinity War was the biggest release of the year, taking a massive £70.8 million.

In second place was Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (£65.5 million), followed by Incredibles 2 (£56.2 million) – meaning the three highest-grossing films were all sequels.

The top 10 also included two further movies in the Marvel superhero series (Black Panther and Deadpool 2) plus three other sequels (Mary Poppins Returns, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald).

There was room for just two stand-alone films: Bohemian Rhapsody (in fourth place) and Peter Rabbit (eighth) – though even these were not entirely original creations, being based respectively on the career of rock band Queen and a collection of stories by Beatrix Potter.

(PA Graphics)

The figures, released by the British Film Institute, show that the most successful independent UK film of 2018 was Darkest Hour, which finished outside the top 10 in 14th place, but took a respectable £24.1 million.

The chart contains some surprises – for example, the much-anticipated Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel 54 years in the making, failed to get into the top five.

The biggest action film of the year, Mission: Impossible Fallout, did not even make the top 10.

And the latest film in the Star Wars series, Solo: A Star Wars Story, finished in a lowly 18th place – a far cry from the success of the previous spin-off, 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which topped that year’s chart.

Overall UK cinema admissions in 2018 were 177 million, the highest level since 1970 and up 3.7% on 2017.

Here is the UK box office top 10 for 2018:

1. Avengers: Infinity War (UK/US) £70.8 million
2. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (UK/US) £65.5 million
3. Incredibles 2 (US) £56.2 million
4. Bohemian Rhapsody (UK/US) £52.0 million
5. Black Panther (US) £50.6 million
6. Mary Poppins Returns (UK/US) £42.1 million
7. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (UK/US) £41.6 million
8. Peter Rabbit (Aus/US/UK) £41.1 million
9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald (UK/US) £34.0 million
10. Deadpool 2 (US) £32.7 million

Note: Box office totals include the Republic of Ireland. The UK and Republic of Ireland are a single “territory” for film distribution purposes.

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