British Film Production Stats Offer Mixed Reading for UK Film

The British Film Institute today announced a record high in film production across the UK for the 2016 calendar year.

The spend on productions within the country totalled at around £1.6billion ($2.01billion), though it was in no small part due to overseas investment, most notably from the United States.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Dunkirk and Justice League were all filmed in the UK in 2016, while each of the UK’s top three grossing movies of 2016 were also made in the UK – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (£64.3million), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (£54.3million) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (£48.2million).

With such heavy investment from the United States coming courtesy of tax rebates and overall lower production costs in the country, indigenous production numbers have fell across the board. The £205million spent on domestic films is the lowest in 3 years, while only £41.3million was spent on co-productions, the lowest in over five years. The number of British films produced in the UK also fell, with only 129 domestic films being made in 2016, less than half of the number made as little as four years ago when 282 films were made in 2012.

The picture looked no brighter at the Box Office, with British indigenous films making up only 7% of total Box Office takings in 2016 (63% Japan, 36% France, 28% Italy, 18% Spain, 16.5% Germany). The total income of the Box Office was the second highest in recorded history (not accounting for inflation), with £1.277billion taken in Box Office receipts in 2016, but overall admissions were down 2%, meaning less people attended more expensive screenings.

The CEO of the British Film Institute, Amanda Nevill, remained in good spirits however, offering the following statement:

“With film production reaching £1.6 billion for the first time, today’s statistics show that UK film is open for business and our position as a global leader for film and TV production is stronger than ever. Quintessentially British stories from leading British talent, such as Bridget Jones’s Baby, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and The Crown, are generating investment, creating jobs and winning audiences at home and across the globe. Nevertheless, as set out in our five year strategy BFI2022, there is much to be done to ensure British independent films are able to better capitalise on opportunities in this economically and creatively buoyant environment.”

Matt Hancock, the Minister for Digital and Culture, echoed Nevill’s statements with the following words:

“If like me you love film, you’ll love this news of record breaking levels of UK production. These record-breaking production statistics demonstrate that the UK’s world-leading film sector continues to thrive and that Britain remains open for business. With inward investment levels for film and television at new highs, we will continue to build on this tremendous success, forging a global Britain that remains the centre for attracting and developing the world’s best creative talent.”

What do you think? Is the UK more successful or less or successful than in previous years? Let us know in the comments.

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