Hollywood Helps UK Film Business Beat The Downturn

New figures from the UK Film Council (UKFC) show that investment in new UK film production reached around £1.16 billion across 119 films during 2010 – a new record.

Films included in the relevant period were: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, War Horse, Horrid Henry, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Sherlock Holmes 2. Titles like these helped spend in British film production rise 8% on 2009′;s £1.07bn.

While the figure represents a recession-beating performance, the one downbeat note is that home-grown film production slipped. While international inward investment was up by 15% to £928.9 million (28 films), the number of domestic UK films made last year was 72, an 11% drop on 2009. Worse still, the expenditure on making those films – £174 million – translated into a hefty 22% fall. (Note: the other 19 films not referred to above were co-productions).

Nevertheless, the figure is good news at a time when there has been a drop in feature film production investment. Not to be overlooked either is the number of major films based on the work of British authors (JK Rowling, John Le Carre, Arthur Conan Doyle, Michael Morpurgo, Francesca Simon).

More good news for the British film business is that box office taking increased by 2% on 2009, breaking through the £1 billion barrier for the second year running. Toy Story 3, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, Alice in Wonderland and Inception topped the charts. British films accounted for 22.6% of all ticket sales. Streetdance 3D, backed by the UKFC with £1m of Lottery funding, was the most successful independent British film earning £11.6m.

UKFC managing director Tim Cagney said: “These figures underline the vital contribution that film makes to Britain’;s cultural and economic fabric. After ten years of UK Film Council support, they highlight the importance of a strong film sector and reinforce the UK’;s reputation as one of the most competitive and highly-skilled places in the world.”

He added: “The figures also show how difficult it is to raise finance for independent British films and, with four of the top ten UK independent films funded by UKFC, the value of public investment in new British films and talent.”

Share this Article