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10/10/2006

UK Films Rake In Million Of Dollars At The Box Office

The 20 biggest selling films based on stories or characters created by UK writers have taken almost $11 billion at the worldwide box office in the last six years, according to new figures released by the UK Film Council.
Six of the top 10 films at the world box office 2001-2005, and 19 of the top 100, were based on stories and characters created by UK writers such as the 'Harry Potter films', the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'James Bond', 'Bridget Jones' and 'Wallace and Gromit'.
The UK Film Council’s research and statistics bulletin which provides the latest film data and market intelligence for 2006, also reveals that film production spending in the UK is up by 76% for the first six months of 2006 ­at £486 million compared to £276 million for the first half of 2005. Harry Potter and the 'Order of the Phoenix', 'The Magic Flute', and Lottery-funded 'Miss Potter' and 'Becoming Jane' are some of the 70 films made or partly made in the UK this year. Inward investment alone has increased by 71%, standing at £306.7 million compared to £179.4 million for the same period in 2005.
'Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest' has been the biggest box office hit of the year taking £51.48 million by the end of August – only the ninth film ever to break through the £50 million mark in the UK. 2006 has seen the release of 344 films at the cinema earning £526 million with comedy the best performing genre (£99.2 million) but overall admissions for the first seven months of the year were down slightly (2.4%) on the same period last year.
The most popular British films were 'The Da Vinci Code' which racked up £30.4 million at the box office by the end of August, and UK Film Council Lottery-funded films 'Stormbreaker' (£6.62 million) and 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' (£3.65 million) which also picked up the top prize at this year’s Cannes film festival.
Men and women have enjoyed different films at the cinema in 2006. 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and 'Brokeback Mountain' were popular with women while men preferred 'United 93' and 'V for Vendetta'. Film tastes also differed across the regions of the UK. Match Point appealed to London audiences while 'Final Destination 3' proved popular in the Midlands and North West.
The most successful foreign language films so far this year have been Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (grossing almost £2 million), Volver (£1.7 million) and Hidden (£1.45 million) which spent over six months in UK cinemas.
Commenting on the latest production figures for film in the UK in 2006, the UK Film Council’s British Film Commissioner Steve Norris commented:
“It’s fantastic news that the UK production sector has bounced back this year with a 76% rise in the amount of money spent on producing films in the UK, generating business, jobs and spin-off value in other industries. This up-turn in business will also ultimately benefit UK audiences with more British films made and released.
“Today’s report also shows that UK writers are the best in the world. Films adapted from stories by UK writers have dominated the global box office for the past six years giving enjoyment to millions of cinema-goers around the world.”
(DS)

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