UK film distributors spent more than $403.2m (£255m) on prints and advertising in 2002, around one-third of the total value of UK cinema ticket sales during the year.

According to the Film Distributors' Association (FDA) yearbook, published this month, print and advertising spend passed the quarter of a billion pound threshold for the first time.

The record-breaking spend was a contributing factor in the UK's end of year admissions for 2002, which hit 176 million, to make the UK the third largest theatrical market behind the US and Japan.

Of the total p&a spend, around $219.3m was spent on advertising according to the FDA, the UK distributor's trade body. The lion's share of this went on TV ads ($87.3m) with some $75.3m on outdoor. $41.7m was spent on press ads, $14.2m on radio, $637,172 on in-cinema advertising, and $177,758 on direct mail. Advertising spend was spread relatively evenly across the year,

The yearbook also confirms how competitive the UK theatrical market has become, with an average of seven new films opening every week in 2002, accounting for more than 117,000 prints circulated to cinemas. That's up 8% up on 2001.