A British secret agent, an unlikely pair of friends and a kidnapped ex-CIA operative helped boost admissions for European Union films across Europe by 12% in 2012. Despite a drop in overall attendance, market share for Euro films jumped to 33.6%, the highest level of the 2000s so far. The European Audiovisual Observatory said today that Skyfall, a majority UK co-production, was the biggest draw with 44.38M admissions across the Union. It was followed by two French films: The Intouchables at 24.07M and Taken 2 at 10.43M. Receipts hit a record high of 6.47B euros ($8.47B) reflecting hikes in ticket prices and the increase in 3D movies. Admissions for U.S. films were up slightly to 62.8% but were still far off the 68.4% achieved in 2010. The top three Hollywood performers were Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Dark Knight Rises and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.

In terms of individual markets, Skyfall was the biggest British film of all time, but UK admissions remained stable in 2012 — in part due to summer distractions including the London Olympics. In economically strapped Spain, where The Impossible became the highest-grossing local film of all time, admissions were down 4.8%. France was down by 6.3% after hitting a 45-year high in 2011, but Germany saw a jump of 4.3% and markets where box office boomed included Finland (+19.7%), Sweden (+11.9%), Denmark (+9.3%), Latvia (+10.9%) and Romania (+15.4%).