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Audiences Flocked To UK Film In 2011

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UK audiences have embraced independent British film as never before in 2011, it is claimed.
According to information tracked by the BFI Research and Statistics Unit, which provides unique research data and market intelligence about the UK’s film industry and culture, films such as The King’s Speech, The Inbetweeners Movie and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy helped drive the market share of UK box office for British independent films up to 13.5% - the highest ever recorded.
This increased audience appetite for independently made British films came within a strong year for UK cinemas generally, with total admissions at 171.6m in 2011, up 1.4% on 2010 and the third highest total of the last decade. The gross value of box office for the year was £1.04bn, up 5% on 2010 and the first time that UK takings UK only figures for the calendar year, excluding Republic of Ireland have broken through the £1bn barrier.
Within this total, the market share for all British films at the UK box office, including both independents and those shot in the UK but financed from abroad, reached 36.2%, up from 24.0% in 2010. This strong performance was driven by the popularity of both British independents and blockbusters made in the UK with British talent, crew and services, such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: "Film is at the very core of Britain’s cultural life and today’s figures show that the appetite for cinema-going across the UK is as healthy as ever. 2011 was a phenomenal year, with the box office results showing that independently produced British films captivated audiences. That said, we are pragmatic; it’s still a challenging time for filmmakers trying to raise finance to make independent British films in this tough economic climate. As we enter 2012 many challenges remain, but today’s figures clearly show that keeping audiences at the heart of everything we do will help the British film industry to enjoy even greater success in the future and continue to be an important contributor to the UK economy."
Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, said: “2011 was an amazing year for British film and for audiences, but it’s vital that we make sure this success continues throughout 2012 and beyond. Lord Smith’s recent review of film policy highlighted ways to remove barriers to production and ensure that film plays an important role in driving economic growth. I look forward to working with the BFI and the industry on the review’s recommendations and ensuring that we continue to nurture and grow this thriving sector of industry."
Total investment in UK-based film production reached £1.26 billion in 2011, a new record for the British film industry. Films of different genres and budget levels including Streetdance 2 3D, Welcome to the Punch, Skyfall, Great Expectations, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, The Sweeney, 360, Snow White and the Huntsman, Shadow Dancer, Now Is Good and World War Z increased film production spend in the UK on 2010’s £1.25bn.
International investment from films made in the UK using facilities, services and crew, in turn creating jobs and driving growth in both the UK film industry’s infrastructure and the economy as a whole, helped drive overall production spend. In 2011 these international productions spent just over £1.0bn in the UK on making 28 films, the highest ever recorded and an increase in spend of 2.8% from 2010’s £979.7m.
While spend on film production in the UK overall was up in 2011, the total number of UK films produced with budgets of £500k and more fell to 71, down from 78 in 2010. 98 films were made on budgets of less than £500k, bringing the total number of domestic UK feature films produced in 2011 to 169, again down on 2010’s 262 films.
The expenditure on making UK domestic feature films in 2011 – £194m – is a 9.4% fall on 2010’s £214m. While fewer domestic UK films were made, the number of UK co-productions with other countries, the majority with other EU member states, increased by one third to 40 in 2011 from 30 in 2010. Co-productions recorded a UK spend of £59.0m, up from £56.3m in 2010.
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