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INDUSTRY UK

British films BO share up, but co-productions down

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [+see also:
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, Mr. Bean's Holiday [+see also:
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, Hot Fuzz [+see also:
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, Miss Potter [+see also:
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and Atonement [+see also:
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have raised the market share for British films at the UK box office to 27%, compared to 19% in 2006, according to the UK Film Council’s latest research and statistics bulletin.

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The bulletin also discloses that £420m was spent on production in the UK in the first half of 2007. Of these, British films include How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Brideshead Revisited, St Trinian’s, The Edge of Love and Revolutionary Road. Inward investment was up to £324m compared to £253m in the first half of 2006, courtesy films like Sweeney Todd and The Dark Knight.

The highest grosser of the year so far is Harry Potter, with £49.4 m. Comedies Mr Bean’s Holiday with £22m, and Hot Fuzz with £21m, showed strong box office legs.

Other British films like Miss Potter (£6.9m), Atonement (£11.3m), Run, Fat Boy, Run (£10.7m), Notes on a Scandal [+see also:
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(£5.9m) and The Last King of Scotland [+see also:
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(£5.7m) contributed to the bumper box office.

However, striking a sombre note was the revelation that UK co-productions have significantly fallen – from 51 in the first 9 months of 2006 to just 29 in the comparable 2007 period. This is thought to be the result of changes in the tax relief schemes.

UKFC CEO John Woodward said: “It’s been a strong half year of consolidation for film production in the UK. Currently, domestic films are steady and we’ve had strong inward investment from the US again this year. When you couple that with the incredibly strong box office for British films you can see that the underlying trends are very healthy.”

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