When you think of a shopping experience in the US, it may seem like it could only be a couple of weeks away.
But that’s not the case for many countries in the world, including the UK.
The reason for that is the amount of money being spent on entertainment in the country, according to research from the Entertainment Industry Association (EIA).
According to the study, spending on entertainment and related merchandise, ticket sales, restaurants, shopping malls and theatres has grown at an annualised rate of 1.9% in 2016, compared to the year before.
“These figures show the growth of the entertainment industry in the United Kingdom, as the country continues to enjoy an industry-leading rate of growth,” EIA President Chris Evans said.
“The UK has the fourth-highest per capita spending on cinema and television and the third-highest level of spending on music and sporting events in the EU.”
The UK also boasts the second-highest number of cinemas per capita after the US with 1,400, which means there are an estimated 2,600 cinemas across the country.
“It is also a significant factor in the continued growth of UK film and television production, with UK studios investing over £2.4bn in new cinemas this year, a figure that will likely rise further,” Evans added.
There are more than 4,600 theatres in the British Isles, which accounts for almost half of all cinemas.
It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, with the number of visitors estimated to be around 1.6 million.
This figure is likely to be even higher in the years to come as demand for cinemas continues to increase.
The UK’s number of theatres is estimated to grow by almost a third between 2020 and 2023, which is likely due to the opening of cinemases in the cities of Manchester and London.
“As our population grows, the demand for film and TV production and entertainment increases and so the number and quality of cinematics in the city and surrounding areas increases,” Evans said in a statement.
“We have an opportunity to continue to build on our existing facilities and increase the number, quality and variety of our cinemas, and in doing so help the UK maintain its status as one of Europe’s leading film and entertainment destinations.”
A big chunk of this spending is on the new ‘Walmarts’ in the capital, London.
While the number is likely growing, the cost of a ticket is not.
The average ticket costs £18 in the City of London, according the EIA, which would be around £15 more than a similar ticket for a comparable location in the suburbs.
The majority of the £30-40 cost goes towards buying a ticket, which can add up quickly.
“A ticket is only a ticket,” Evans continued.
“Tickets are a luxury, not a necessity.”
This can add a little more pressure to the ticket price, but that’s nothing new.
Last year, the average price for a ticket in London was around £40, compared with around £20 in Manchester and around £14 in Birmingham.
It’s also likely to become cheaper in the coming years as new venues open up and people move back to the capital.
That means more of the cost will be absorbed by the ticket purchaser.
“For a new cinema, there’s a risk of a surge in the demand to book and the likelihood of the price of a cinema going up,” Evans explained.
“But the ticket is the ticket, and if you have a good relationship with your local cinema and can get them to accept your tickets, that’s a good start.”
With more cinemas opening up, there is also the possibility of an increase in demand for theatres, which are usually more expensive to produce and run.
“That’s something that the industry is really focused on and there’s also an increasing demand for the UK to open up cinemas,” Evans concluded.
“This could mean that a few years down the road, we’ll see a new movie opening in the cinemas of the UK.”
For now, though, it looks like London is the capital for those who are looking to visit the UK’s top theatres.