Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Cineworld has said it sold more tickets than ever before in 2015, thanks to blockbuster hits like Star Wars, Spectre and Jurassic World.

The cinema chain sold 93.6 million tickets in 2015, up 13% from 2014, across its 2,000 screens in nine countries.

It mirrors a record year for the UK and Ireland's cinema industry, after sales hit £1.3 billion, according to industry researcher Rentrak.

Cineworld posted profits of £102.8m, a 37.1% on the previous year. And despite a record year for the volume of box office sales, there were signs that Cineworld is struggling to keep up with its competitors. Its box office revenues grew 8%, less than half the average growth seen in the market (17.4%).

The company's overall revenues in the UK and Ireland grew 12.7%, with central and Eastern Europe, and Israel reporting growth of 11.7%.

Cineworld said 2016 has a "promising film slate", but film industry analysts are disagreeing with that idea. Nigel Parson said films due for release this year are weaker than 2015, with more family films and far fewer blockbusters. He highlighted Deadpool as the only saving grace for the opening quarter of 2016.