Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit help UK cinema audiences increase in 2012

A good year for film sees 172.5 million tickets sold in cinemas up and down the land

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Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit help UK cinema audiences increase in 2012
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More than 172 million tickets were sold at UK cinemas last year, making 2012 the second best year for audience figures in the last decade. 

According to data collected by the BFI Research and Statistics Unit, cinema admissions increased by 0.5% in 2012 and brought in over £1 billion at the box office. 

Early 2012 releases such as The Iron Lady, War Horse, The Artist and The Hunger Games hugely boosted cinema visits, while box office hits such as The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel Avengers Assemble, the final Twilight film and Peter Jackson's The Hobbit cemented record cinema admissions. 

The 23rd Bond film, Skyfall, is responsible for a large number of cinema goers and has currently taken an impressive £102.26 million at the UK box office. While November, which saw films such as Twilight, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook released at UK cinemas, was the best month and saw an increase of 36.4% on cinema visits in November 2011. 

As well as Hollywood blockbusters, British films also had a part to play in the record figures. The BFI said: "British films from mainstream blockbusters such as Skyfall and Prometheus to independent films such as The Woman in Black, The Iron Lady, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel gave the UK a combined market share of 32%" 

The only year which has beaten 2012's impressive figures in the last decade is 2009, which saw cinema admissions of 173.5 million. 2009's biggest box office hits included Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, James Cameron's Avatar, Up, The Hangover, Star Trek and Slumdog Millionaire.