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BOX OFFICE UK

BFI reports increase in UK 2018 box-office figures

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- 2018 sees a new high for UK cinema admissions and the second-highest spend on record for film and high-end TV production

BFI reports increase in UK 2018 box-office figures
Darkest Hour by Joe Wright

Official figures published by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit reveal continued growth in the UK and Republic of Ireland market, with 177 million cinema admissions recorded in 2018, a 3.7% rise in comparison to 2017. The figure constitutes the highest level of cinema admissions since 1970 and is worth £1.387 billion at the box office, a particularly notable statistic given that the televised FIFA World Cup saw England make it to the semi-finals. It was also good news for UK productions, with independent UK films seeing a growth in their box office market share from 9.5% in 2017 to 11.7% in 2018. The highest grossing UK independent productions were the Churchill biopic Darkest Hour [+see also:
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(£24.1 million), Johnny English Strikes Again [+see also:
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(£17.7 million), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [+see also:
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(£15.3 million) and Early Man [+see also:
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(£11.2 million).

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The year continued to see elevated levels of production investment across high-end television and film, with a combined spend in the UK of over £3.1billion. Film production spend reached £1.924 billion in 2018, the second highest on record, while inward investment and co-production spend on feature films came to £1.628 billion and the overall spend on high-end TV production amounted to £1.173 billion – a 4% increase on 2017 and the highest level since the introduction of tax relief in 2013. It’s also worth noting that investment and co-production spend for high-end television totalled €795 million in 2018. Three of the year’s top five grossing films at the UK box office were made in the UK: Avengers: Infinity War (£70.8 million), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again [+see also:
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 (£65.5 million) and Bohemian Rhapsody [+see also:
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(£52 million). 

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “We remain one of the most in demand places in the world to create moving image content. The benefits are being felt UK-wide with production expanding across nations and regions, boosting the economy, building skills, creating jobs and providing opportunities for people of all backgrounds to join our industry.” 

Films made in the UK in 2018 and in the pipeline for release in 2019/2020 include both inward investment blockbusters, such as JJ Abrams’ Star Wars Episode IX, Kenneth Branagh’s Artemis Fowl, Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman, Stephen Gaghan’s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Michael Engler’s Downton Abbey, Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts, Rob Letterman’s Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, and independent UK films including Danny Boyle’s Yesterday [+see also:
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(working title: All You Need Is Love), Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light [+see also:
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, Romola Garai’s Outside, Rupert Goold’s Judy, Philippa Lowthorpe’s Misbehaviour, Marc Munden’s The Secret Garden, Billie Piper’s Rare Beasts and Richard Starzak’s Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.

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