Brits See Helen Mirren As Good Fit For Theresa May In Brexit Movie

The inaugural Meerkat Movies Annual Cinema Index has revealed some interesting facts about British viewing habits in 2018 with musical adaptations proving more popular than ever, the highest UK attendance levels in almost 50 years, and an increase in diversity on screen.

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The Meerkat Movies Annual Cinema Index has revealed Brits see Helen Mirren as the perfect candidate to take on the role of Theresa May in a movie about Brexit. This was one of several interesting facts revealed from the data compiled in 2018 which saw 4.3 million moviegoers use Meerkat Movies’ discounted tickets compared to 3.8 million in 2017. This coincides with increased cinema attendance with levels at their highest for 50 years (and a 3.7% increase year on year).

Other interesting data to be revealed included an increase in on-screen diversity, 37% more female characters during the year, nearly a third of people agreeing that cinema has had a positive impact on the ethics of plastic pollution and veganism, and an increase in popularity for musical adaptation. 57% said cinema was for escapism while David Bowie topped the list of icons audiences would like to see played on screen.

“2018 was a record-breaking year for cinema which saw a 13% increase in movie lovers using Meerkat Movies (4.3 million compared to 3.8 million in 2017),” said Pier Paolo Pettineo, Head of Meerkat Movies at He added that as awards season gets underway, “it’s great to see the nation championing diversity both on and off-screen.”

The inaugural Meerkat Movies Annual Cinema Index has been compiled to reveal the latest cinema-going trends amongst the UK public. Its survey of 3,000 people found that almost half (43%) prefer to watch new films at the cinema, almost twice as many as those who prefer to see the latest releases at home (26%).

Over two thirds of people said the cinema is the only place to get the full “blockbuster” film experience with 58% saying this was down to the impressive visual and audio spectacle.

Diversity, ethical debate and musicals were also trends in 2018. Over a third of movie-goers (37%) agreed that they had seen an increase in female representation on their screens in 2018, whilst 35% saw more characters from ethnic minority backgrounds and 31% acknowledged a greater presence of LGBT characters.

Musical films were a firm favourite with Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! leading the way. Bohemian Rhapsody followed along with A Star is Born. Pop icon David Bowie topped a list of those the public would like to see brought to life on screen with the popularity of sequels still remaining strong with audiences eager to see follow-ups to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War.

When it comes to iconic characters, 75% of consumers polled say they feel James Bond should remain as a male lead, ruling out a similar move as seen by Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who.

The changing face of theatrical performance in future could include 4D and VR with audiences expressing an interesting in such technology.

“A diverse slate of films, combined with massive investment in new and refurbished cinemas, saw the highest levels of cinema-going in 2018 for almost 50 years,” said Phil Clapp, Chief Executive of UK Cinema Association. “It’s fantastic to see ever more people using Meerkat Movies to enjoy the magic of the big screen.”

Amilia Totten
About the Author
Amilia Totten is a freelance writer, photographer and erstwhile time-waster. Her eclectic film favourites include the latest Hollywood blockbuster to European avant-garde and the joys of Bollywood.

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