Despicable Me 2 was the most popular film released in the UK this year, according to box office figures. It was a strong year for animation generally, with Monsters University, The Croods, Wreck-it Ralph, Epic, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, The Smurfs 2, Turbo and Frozen all making the top 30. It was also a year for action, with Iron Man 3 at number three and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Man Of Steel, Gravity. Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6 all in the top 10.
A notable exception to these themes was Les Misérables, the second biggest UK box office hit this year. Philomena also did well despite not opening until November, in a year when four of the top ten films were notable for strong performances by women.
Another curiosity worth noting is One Direction: This Is Us, which made it to number 41, an impressive showing for a concert film and probably a result of fans going to see it repeatedly.
In a year with a lot of big Hollywood blockbusters, things were tough for independent British films, but when takings are compared to the cost of production a different pattern emerges and it's clear that they've done very well indeed. US/UK co-production Les Misérables made its money back in the UK alone and turned a profit of over £91m overall, before DVD and merchandise sales. Despite only making it to number 51 on the list Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa made a 50% profit after recouping costs.
As for films opening in December, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug still managed to climb to number 32, with year end takings of just over £9m (compared to Despicable Me's £44m), and as it's still running in many cinemas its overall takings are likely to be quite a bit higher.
Will we see any of these films winning awards? Gravity has received a lot of nominations for direction, acting and cinematography, and Despicable Me 2 is looking strong in the Animation category, but both face stiff competition. Philomena hasn't really garnered enough attention in the US but may be worth an outside bet.