eOne has also become the UK’s number one independent distributor, ahead of Paramount – the first time that an indie has out-grossed a studio since 2007.

Following the £100m success of the latest Bond mission, Skyfall, Sony ended 2012 as the UK’s number one distributor, grossing a total of $336.4m (£209.9m) across 2012 (based on Rentrak figures from Jan 6, 2012 to Jan 3, 2013).

Sony’s 17.9% market share was more than double its 2011 share of 7.35% when Arthur Christmas was its lead film with $33.2m (£20.7m). Skyfall’s monumental $161.9m (£101m) haul accounted for almost 50% of Sony’s haul in 2012.

Last year’s champion, Warner Bros, fell to third with a $235.5m (£147m) tally, a 12.5% market share. Its lead performer was Christopher Nolan’s climactic Batman instalment, The Dark Knight Rises, which took $90.3m (£56.3m).

Overall, UK box office in 2012 grossed $1.878bn (£1.172bn), narrowly ahead of 2011’s $1.812bn (£1.130bn) and marked the fourth consecutive year that box office crossed the $1.5bn barrier.

eOne top indie

Entertainment One UK (eOne) ended 2012 as the leading independent distributor with a highly impressive $129.5m (£80.8m) resulting in a 6.9% market share. Based on the calendar year grosses alone (Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2012), eOne took $130.9m (£81.7m).

This result meant that eOne were sixth on the overall chart, ahead of Paramount’s $125.8m (£78.5m) which meant that 2012 marked the first year since 2007 that an independent distributor out-grossed a studio.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 led the way for eOne with more than $56m (£35m), staking a 44% share of the overall eOne result.

Alex Hamilton, director of film at eOne, said: “Being number one indie again is good, but to finish ahead of a studio for the year is a real feather in our cap. Given we didn’t exist the last time an indie out-grossed a studio, it’s rather satisfying.”

Last year’s independent champion Entertainment Film Distributors could only manage tenth on the overall chart this year.

In 2011, The Inbetweeners Movie propelled Entertainment to $122.5m (£76.4m), whereas The Artist provided the biggest share of Entertainment’s 2012 slate with its $15.5m (£9.7m) accounting for 26.3% of the distributor’s overall $59m (£36.8m) result.

Lionsgate enjoyed a fruitful 2012 with the strong performance of The Hunger Games seeing it to $109.6m (£68.2m), while Momentum banked $82.3m (£51.2m) for a slight dip on their 2011 result.

Vertigo grossed $9.9m (£6.2m) in 2012, with around 50% of that coming from StreetDance 2, and Artificial Eye took $5.5m (£3.4m) across the year with its frontrunner coming from one of their latest releases, Amour.

Metrodome, New Wave, Arrow and documentary specialist Dogwoof were among the other independent distributors who enjoyed a rise in their year-on-year figures, going up 82%, 99%, 237% and 48%, respectively.

Fox / Universal / Disney

Of the other studios, 20th Century Fox proved the closest competitor to Sony’s market-leading performance.

Releasing 39 titles over 2012, Fox grossed $306.5m (£191.2m) and secured a 16.3% market share with its standout performer being Ice Age: Continental Drift which took a cool $48.2m (£30.1m) accounting for 15.7% of Fox’s haul.

Universal dropped slightly on their 2011 result of $219.3m (£136.8m), grossing $206.7m (£129m) in 2012 for an 11% market share with Seth MacFarlane’s Ted providing 23.5% of that after laughing its way to $48.6m (£30.3m).

Despite the excellent $83.2m (£51.9m) run of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Disney had to settle for fifth on the overall 2012 chart, the same position it occupied in 2011.

2012 saw it out-gross its 2011 performance though with $197.4m (£123.2m) taken in 2012 as opposed to 2011’s $157.3m (£98.1m) result.

Top ten*

  1. Sony: $336.4m (£209.9m) 17.9%
  2. 20th Century Fox: $306.5m (£191.2m) 16.3%
  3. Warner Bros: $235.5m (£147m) 12.5%
  4. Universal: $219.3m (£136.8m) 11%
  5. Walt Disney: $197.4m (£123.2m) 10.5%
  6. eOne: $129.5m (£80.8m) 6.9%
  7. Paramount: $125.8m (£78.5m) 6.7%
  8. Lionsgate: $109.3m (£68.2m) 5.8%
  9. Momentum: $82.1m (£51.2m) 4.3%
  10. Entertainment Film Distributors: $59m (£36.8m) 3.1%

*Rentrak figures from Jan 6, 2012 – Jan 3, 2013