UK admissions hit 87.7 million over the first half of 2002, the highest level for thirty years, putting the UK box office on course for yet another year of impressive growth.

According to figures released by the Cinema Advertising Agency (CAA) admissions between January and the end of June were up 25%, confirming an ongoing upswing in UK admissions.

June, which saw the release of Columbia TriStar's Spider-Man, posted 12.2 million admissions - the month's highest since 1972. Spider-Man took£21m by the end of the month.

Though released in May, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, continued to perform well in June, taking£11.4 million over the month. Other films doing well in June include UIP's 40 Days And 40 Nights (£4.4 million), Warner Bros' The Time Machine (£3.5 million) and 20th Century Fox's Unfaithful (£3.1m).

With Men In Black 2, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets and the return of Bond in Die Another Day all to come in the second half of the year, the CAA predicts that year-end admissions will stand at 174 million. This will significantly pass last year's total of 156 million admissions.

'Such a strong performance over the first half of 2002 puts cinema in a great position to achieve another record-breaking year,' said Christine Costello, CAA's vice president. 'We were pleased to see that the might of the movies showed no sign of abating in June, despite the World Cup.'