Advertisers piggybacked on hits including Finding Dory, Rogue One, The Secret Life of Pets, and Deadpool last year as they spent $758.3 million to hawk their wares at movie theaters, the Cinema AdvertisingCouncil reports today.The total, up 5.8% vs. 2015, is a new high for the industry. Deals with national and regional sponsors outweighed a slowdown in local sales according to the trade group’s annual account at the exhibition industry’s CinemaCon confab in Las Vegas. NationalCinemedia and Screenvision are the leading sellers of cinema ads.Entertainment, automotive, communications, internet and media, and computer hardware and software companies helped to drive national/regional ad sales +8.2% to $595.5 million. That represents a deceleration from 2015, when the category was up 13.4%.Meanwhile local sales slipped 2.4% in 2016 to $162.0 million. They increased 6.6% in 2015.The numbers show that cinema is “an essential component to media plans,” CAC President Katy Loria says. “Cinema is a proven high impact source for audience replacement, and supplements and enhances the audience lost through ratings erosion on broadcast and cable TV.”She adds that “momentum and increased interest in cinema advertising has continued in 2017, which has been buoyed by a robust box office, with seven movies grossing more than $100 million each in Q1 2017 alone.”On screen ads accounted for $706.8 million, or 93.2%, of the 2016 ad sales. That’s up 5.4% from 2015.CAC says that this is the seventh consecutive year that total industry sales exceeded $600 million. It began tracking cinema advertising in 2002. In that 14-year period advertisers have spent more than $8 billion at the movies.