British box office, inward investment up, production down
by Naman Ramachandran
New figures released by the British Film Institute’s (BFI) Research and Statistics Unit reveal that audiences for British independent films have increased with the sector accounting for 13.5% of market share in 2011. Total admissions were 171.6 million in 2011 up 1.4% from 2010.
Total inward investment in UK-based film production reached £1.26 billion in 2011, up from 2010’s £1.25 billion. However, the total number of UK films produced with budgets of £500,000 and more fell to 71, down from 78 in 2010. Since only 98 films were made on budgets of less than £500,000, the total number of domestic UK feature films produced in fell 2011 to 169, again down from 2010’s 262 films.
BFI CEO Amanda Nevill said, “2011 was a phenomenal year, with the box office results showing that independently produced British films captivated audiences. That said, we are pragmatic; it’s still a challenging time for filmmakers trying to raise finance to make independent British films in this tough economic climate. As we enter 2012 many challenges remain, but today’s figures clearly show that keeping audiences at the heart of everything we do will help the British film industry to enjoy even greater success in the future and continue to be an important contributor to the UK economy.”
Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, said, “Lord Smith’s recent review of film policy highlighted ways to remove barriers to production and ensure that film plays an important role in driving economic growth. I look forward to working with the BFI and the industry on the review’s recommendations and ensuring that we continue to nurture and grow this thriving sector of industry.”