Sequels and spin-offs made up nine of the top 10 biggest films at the British and Irish box office last year, figures show.
Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water spawned a spate of movies that were either sequels or part of a long-running franchise.
The only standalone movie to appear in the top 10 is the biopic Elvis, which scraped to 10th place.
The figures, released by the British Film Institute (BFI), show the tight grip franchise films still have on the big screen.
A sequel or spin-off has topped the box office chart every year since 2010, with one exception: 2020, when many blockbusters were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, paving the way for the World War I epic, 1917. place.
Topping the list in 2022 was Top Gun: Maverick, which grossed a whopping £83.7 million at the UK and Ireland box office – enough to make it one of the top 10 greatest films of all time.
In the film, Tom Cruise reprises the role of pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, whom he first played 36 years earlier in the original Top Gun in 1986.
The second movie Avatar: The Way of Water (£70.9m) was another highly anticipated sequel, this time set 13 years after the original, but again using cutting-edge technological effects to blend live action and digital animation.
In third place is Minions: The Rise of Gru (£47.0 million), which came out seven years after the first Minions film.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (£42.2 million) is in fourth place, followed by The Batman (£40.8 million), Thor: Love and Thunder (£37.6 million), Jurassic World: Dominion ( £35.1m), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (£34.2m) and Sing 2 (£33.0m).
Two of the films in the top 10 are still in general release – The Way of Water and Wakanda Forever – so their box office totals could climb even higher.
Last year’s highest-grossing independent film was Belfast, written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, which grossed £15.6 million.
All box office data refers to withdrawals up to 29 January 2023, and includes both Ireland and the UK as both are counted as one territory for reporting purposes.
Separate BFI figures show that the total number of cinema visits in the UK for all films released in 2022 was 117 million.
This is 59% more than in 2021, but 33% lower than the pre-pandemic total of 176 million in 2019.
Factors likely to have influenced the shooting last year were the record-breaking summer heat wave and the Queen’s death and burial in September, the BFI added.