The surge was led by Hollywood blockbusters, Spider-Man 3 and Transformers, which smashed the 10-year-record held by Titanic to become the top two all-time highest-grossing films.
These two pictures set a record of three films breaking into the all-time top 10 chart all within one year. The third film was Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix which took seventh place in the all-time chart.
Of the 352 films released (21 holdovers from 2006 and six sneak previews for official release in 2008), MPA titles accounted for 69.2% of the total box office from 117 releases.
The biggest distributor of the year was exhibitor-distributor Golden Village, which earned a 17.4% market share on an extremely busy slate of 89 releases. The slate included some titles which were acquired by independent distributors such as Festive Films and Encore Films, but distributed by GV.
Walt Disney came in second with 14.4% on 16 releases, followed by Fox (12.3% on 26 releases), Sony (9.6% on 18 releases) and Paramount/Dreamworks (9.6% on seven releases).
The local nascent film sector churned out two box office hits, Royston Tan's 881 and Jack Neo's Just Follow Law. Distributed by GV, they were the top two Asian films and 881 even made it to the overall top 10.
'The growth in theatrical business is a combination of exhibition expansion and good quality film products available. Some people said Singapore had too many cinemas, but the opening of several new cinema locations in the last 24 months proved that the business has expanded, not contracted,' said Brett Hogg, general manager of Buena Vista Columbia TriStar Films (Singapore).
Last December saw a new exhibitor enter the market with the soft opening of a six-screen multiplex. Filmgarde, owned by property developer Jack Investment, is due to open a second, bigger multiplex in the third quarter.
Top 10 films in Singapore ( Jan 1, 2007 - Jan 2, 2008 )
1. Spider-Man 3 (SPRI) $5.50m (S$7.83m)
2. Transformers (UIP) $4.96m (S$7.06m)
3. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (WB) $3.95m (S$5.62m)
4. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (WDSMP) $3.66m (S$5.21m)
5. Ratatouille (WDSMP) $3.00m (S$4.27m)
6. Mr Bean's Holiday (UIP) $2.76m (S$3.92m)
7. Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (Fox) $2.67m (S$3.80m)
8. Rush Hour 3 (WB) $2.57m (S$3.66m)
9. Shrek 3 (UIP) $2.49m (S$3.55m)
10. 881 (GV) $2.48m (S$3.54m)