The UK enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2007 with total box-office takings at $1.7bn (£904m), according to Nielsen EDI -the highest total since records began and up 8% from 2006

Last year saw the release of the highest ever number of films generating more than $20m (£10m) and $40m($20m) with 23 titles breaking the $20m mark and 12 pushing past $40m.

The growth was spearheaded by three Hollywood sequels - Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End and Shrek The Third - which all generated a collective total of nearly $500m (£252.9m).

The fifth instalment of Harry Potter came up trumps with a robust $97.5m (£49.4m) take while Pirates came second with $79.4m (£40.2m) and Shrek The Third was at number three with a $76.2m (£38.6m) take.

And it was a solid year for UK films - six of the top 20 films of the year were UK productions or co-productions. These include Harry Potter, The Golden Compass (still on release) with $43.8m (£22.2m), Mr Bean's Holiday $43.6m (£22.1m), Hot Fuzz $41.3m (£20.9m), Stardust $29.2m (£14.8m) and Atonement $22.9m (£11.6m).

Warner Bros led the distributor market share this year, with 15.6% of the market. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, 300 and current release I Am Legend were their top titles.

Paramount Pictures International came in second place with 14.7% of the market share, led by Shrek The Third, Transformers and Stardust, while Universal Pictures International was third with 13.9%, headed by The Bourne Ultimatum, Mr Bean's Holiday and Hot Fuzz.

This is the first year the two distributors have worked as separate entities since the UIP split at the start of 2007.

Twentieth Century Fox claimed fourth place with 13.8% of the market share. Top titles included The Simpsons Movie, Die Hard 4.0 and Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.

Fifth place went to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International with a 10.7% market share thanks to titles such as Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, Ratatouille and Enchanted. Entertainment Film Distributors held sixth place with 9.6% market share (thanks to releases including The Golden Compass and Run, Fatboy, Run), and Sony Pictures Releasing International was seventh with 8.2% market share led by Spider-Man 3, The Pursuit Of Happyness and Superbad.

Nick King, President, International for Nielsen Entertainment said: 'The wet summer weather helped to boost ticket sales, along with the absence of major sporting events competing for the audience's attention, such as the football World Cup or Olympic Games.

'Despite the ongoing threat of piracy, the increasing popularity of DVD and home cinema systems, 2007 has proved once again that audiences still like a night out at the pictures.'

Audiences continued to flock to cinemas well towards the end of 2007 as exhibitors in the UK continued to revel in the record year - ODEON's 111 nationwide cinemas saw a 60% increase on Boxing Day and a 25% increase on New Year's Day compared to 2006.

Rupert Gavin, CEO of ODEON and UCI Cinema Group said it was a 'perfect way to end what has been an extremely strong year for cinema in the UK.'

He adds: 'Likewise, we're ever optimistic about 2008, which helped by a number of hotly-anticipated films, is set to be another blockbuster year.'

This year sees the return of several popular franchises including Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, The Incredible Hulk, The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Bond 22 and Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince.

Additional films in the line up for this year include JJ Abrams' Cloverfield, the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer starring Emile Hirsch and Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. The female audience will be served with debuts such as Sex And The City: The Movie and Mamma Mia while summer family films include Paramount/Dreamworks' Kung-Fu Panda Disney/Pixar animation Wall-E. These releases, coupled with fact that the UK is out of this year's UEFA European Championships for football, further support predictions from industry experts that 2008 could even surpass 2007.

Top 10 Films In The UK In 2007

1) Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (Warner Bros) $97.5m (£49.4m)

2) Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (Walt Disney SMPI) $79.4m (£40.2m)

3) Shrek The Third (Paramount Pictures International) $76.2m (£38.6m)

4) The Simpsons Movie (20th Fox) $76.02m (£38.5m)

5) Spider-Man 3 (Sony Pictures Releasing International) $66.2m (£33.5m)

6) Ratatouille (Walt Disney SMPI) $48.9m (£24.7m)

7) The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal Pictures International) $46.8m (£23.7m)

8) Transformers (Paramount Pictures International) $45.8m (£23.2m)

9) The Golden Compass (Entertainment Film Distributors) $43.8m (£22.2m)*

10) Mr Bean's Holiday (Universal Pictures International) $43.6m (£22.1m)

*still on release

All figures according to Nielsen EDI.