Film production spending in UK totals £723m


Films like Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Sweeney Todd, Brideshead Revisited and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People were responsible for a total production spend of £723 million in 2007.  British cinemas enjoyed a strong year with £904 million taken at the box office, 8% higher than 2006.  British films performed well accounting for 28% of cinema takings, up from 19% in 2006 and the third highest since records began in 1996, according to new figures published by the UK Film Council on 18 January.

According to the statistics which cover films with production budgets of £500,000 and above, production spending in 2007 totalled £722.9 million with the UK involved in the making of 112 feature films.  The year was lower than 2006’s total of £855 million which was the second highest year on record.  The fall was influenced by the weak dollar against international currencies, the writers’ strike in the US, and the effect of the structure of the new tax credit on co-productions.

The figures cover the UK spend of indigenous UK film production, inward investment productions (films with finance from overseas but made mainly or significantly in the UK), inward co-productions, and UK co-productions filmed both in the UK and abroad using UK crew and expertise for the calendar year 2007.
UK cinemas enjoyed a good year with box office earnings up 8% at £904 million for the UK and Republic of Ireland compared to £840 million for 2006.

British films’ share of those ticket sales was 28%, up from 19% in 2006, and the third highest in twelve years.  There were seven UK titles in the top 20,

up from just three in 2006.  These included Mr Bean’s Holiday earning £22 million and Hot Fuzz taking £20 million at the UK box office.

The strong performance by UK films at the box office last year reflected the improved production situation in 2006.

The highest grossing film of 2007 was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix taking £49 million followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End with £40 million.

There was also evidence of film fans going to see a wider range of films with a number of “specialised’ or non mainstream films proving popular including The Lives of Others (£2.68m), La Vie En Rose (£1.58m), Tell No One (£1.19m) and The Curse of the Golden Flower (£1.16m).

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council commented:  “2007 was a strong year for film production in the UK and infinitely better than everyone was predicting this time last year’. 

On the significant drop in co-production activity, Woodward said: “Some of this was expected given that the tax break is geared towards encouraging only shooting and post production in the UK.  However, we will be looking at this in much more detail as part of a wider study the Government has asked us to undertake with regard to the state of the industry following the introduction of the new tax credits.

“2008 should prove to be another strong year for UK films at the box office with the new Bond, Harry Potter, Brideshead Revisited, The Other Boleyn Girl, and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People all due for release over the next twelve months.’


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