The mammoth release of The Mummy Returns and the ongoing success of Bridget Jones's Diary helped make May's admissions in the UK the highest for the month in 26 years, according to figures released by the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA).
In its fourth week on release, The Mummy Returns has grossed nearly $24m, while Bridget Jones's Diary has pocketed over $51m in nine weeks.
Admissions during May were up 2.5% year on year, reaching 11.6m during the month; an average of over 2.6m per week. As well as Mummy and Bridget, the top five films during the month were Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Along Came A Spider and The Mexican.
According to the CAA, June looks set to be 12% up on last year due to the continued success of The Mummy Returns and the openings of Pearl Harbor and Shrek.
Debbie Chalet, president of the CAA, said: "Despite all the news of an advertising downturn, cinema revenue is very buoyant. This is due to the successful sales packages that have been developed over the last few years, capitalising on increasing audiences and a growing number of screens. Year on year we anticipate cinema to be 15%-20% up by the end of 2001."