Country Focus: UK
British film industry bucks recession
by Naman Ramachandran
21/07/2010 - The UK film industry defied the recession in 2009, recording box office collections of £944m, attracting production investment of £957m and admissions of 174m, according to latest statistics published today by the UK Film Council’s Research and Statistics Unit.
Internationally, the UK share of the global market was 7% (collecting $2bn), with the top three UK films grossing almost $1.5 billion together (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [trailer], Slumdog Millionaire [trailer, film focus] and Sherlock Holmes [trailer]). Independent UK films did well too, taking 8.2% of the UK and 2.3% of the global market share.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Communications, said, “These figures are clear evidence of the UK’s thriving film industry and its valuable contribution to our economy and cultural life. Not only are people visiting the cinema in ever greater numbers, some of the biggest hits at the box office in the last year are British.”
UKFC CEO John Woodward said, “In terms of sheer economic value, jobs and overall contribution to the economy, film has had a truly great year and is more than punching above its weight. That said, it’s also clear that year-on-year the marketplace for financing smaller independently-produced British films is becoming increasingly tough – partly as a result of the overall economic slowdown and partly because of the increasingly tough transition from the analogue to the digital age.”
On the negative side, value of 2009 UK domestic production was down 18% year-on-year to £169.2m, with the number of domestic UK features falling from 77 to 71. Co-productions remained static at 22 and their combined value made up £35m of the total level of production, down from £48.9m in 2008.