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'The best times are yet to come...'

Screen checks out the autumn theatrical schedule at the FDA Autumn Preview Show.

Soundtracked by the Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Autumnsong’, the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA) autumn preview show, at London’s Hippodrome, kicked off last week with Chief Executive Mark Batey confirming that in spite of the arrival of the Olympic Games, the UK box office was in rude health.

The facts show it all: week one of the Games proved to be the ninth best of the year-to-date, while week two was the fourth strongest thanks to the arrival of Ted and the continued presence of The Dark Knight Rises. And with one in seven British adults going to the cinema at least once a month, the first six months of the year saw a 0.9% rise in admissions and a 2% boost in box office receipts.

So autumn has a lot to live up to, if we’re to see a second consecutive year-on-year increase and Alex Zane was on hand to reel off the big hitters scheduled for the coming months. Focus was put on the films shot in London, including Skyfall, Hysteria, The Sweeney and Gambit, but attention was also paid to the big-name filmmakers bringing their new features to the big screen: Michael Haneke (Amour), Oliver Stone (Savages), Tim Burton (LFF opener Frankenweenie) and Clint Eastwood (Trouble With The Curve), among others.

All this was a build-up to the main attraction: the launch of the FDA’s autumn season taster trailer. Comprised of clips from 51 films set for UK cinema release in September-December, the 75-second trailer will be available for UK cinemas and online. Showcasing a tantalising glimpse of the season, the trailer got special credit from me for featuring the cufflink moment from the new Skyfall trailer.

And with the main event out of the way, following a further live set from the excellent trio The Acoustics who played film-based songs throughout the event, it was time for the FDA quiz.

I won’t go into many details, but it’s fair to say that with our table, no-one in the room stood a chance.

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