British film industry enjoys record 2016
by Naman Ramachandran
- Film production and inward investment grow but domestic film, co-productions and admissions slow
The British film industry enjoyed a robust 2016 with film production spend in the UK reaching £1.6 billion, the highest ever recorded and a 13% increase on the previous year, according to latest figures published by the British Film Institute (BFI). 2016 also saw £1.35 billion being spent by 48 major inward investment films basing themselves in the UK, up some 18% from 2015’s £1.147 billion. Inward investment films made in the UK during 2016 included Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, Ridley Scott’s Alien Covenant, Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express, Lasse Hallstrom’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and Paul King’s Paddington 2.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story led the UK box office in 2016 with collections of £64.3 million, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them [+see also:
film profile] with £54.3 million and Bridget Jones’ Baby [+see also:
film profile] with £48.2 million. All three of the top earners were made in the UK using UK crews, locations and facilities, helping to generate an overall market share of 27.5% of the UK box office for studio-backed, UK-made films.
Total ticket sales for the UK and the Republic of Ireland were worth £1.33 billion - up 1.5% on 2015’s £1.31 billion. Admissions were 168 million, 2% down on 2015, with the UK-only box office total of £1.227 billion, down slightly on 2015’s record total of £1.236 billion.
The leading independent UK films at the box office in 2016 were Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie [+see also:
film profile] with £16 million, and Eddie The Eagle [+see also:
film profile] and Dad’s Army with £8.7 million apiece. UK independent films achieved a 7.4% share of the overall UK box office, down from 10.5% in 2015.
There were 23 UK co-productions commencing production in 2016, between them spending £41.3 million in the UK, down from £44.8 million in 2014.
The 129 domestic UK films made in the UK in 2016 spent £206 million, a drop of 8% on 2015’s total of £223 million. But this figure is likely to be revised upwards as more data comes through. For example, the January 2015 statistics release recorded 124 domestic UK titles, a figure that rose to 199 as more data was received.
International high-end television production also grew in 2016, with 36 television productions generating a UK spend of £477.8 million, up 11%.
Minister for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, said, “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.”
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