The British Film Institute (BFI) has reported the UK's highest spend on film production and inward film and TV production investment on record in 2017, 20 years since records began. UK film continues to prove the country is a leading destination for film and TV production, while UK cinema audiences also continue to grow.
Film production in the UK reached £1.9 billion, a 12% increase on 2016. Inward investment film and TV production raised £1.69 billion for film, 23 % incease on 2016, and £684 million on high-end TV production, a 27% increase on 2016.
Major forthcoming films accounting for some of the record production spend in the UK include Tim Burton's remake of Dumbo, the anticipated 'young Han Solo' Star wars spin-off, Solo: A Star War's Story, Guy Ritchie's adaptation of Aladdin, Harry Potter spin off-sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Idris Elba's Yardie, the recently-announced sixth Tom Cruise vehicle Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-nominated Phantom Thread featuring the final performance by a retiring Daniel Day-Lewis.
High-end international TV productions made in the UK in 2017 include Game of Thrones Series 8, Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Outlander Series 4, Vanity Fair, Peaky Blinders, Howard’s End, Rellik, The Minaturist, Kiri, Hard Sun and White Dragon.
The growing success of the industry highlights the world class excellence of UK talent, crews, VFX and production services, locations and the supportive fiscal environment created by the UK’s creative sector tax reliefs.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said:
“From Star Wars to The Crown, the UK is a creative powerhouse for developing many award-winning films and shows enjoyed by millions globally. We have world-class studios, a talented workforce and highly competitive tax reliefs, and these fantastic stats show investment in our screen industries is booming.”
Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO of the BFI, comments:
“Once again, film and high-end TV surpass expectation, and records are broken, with a staggering almost £3bn spent on film and high-end TV production in the UK. Film and TV is a consistently growing industry, and doing so at speed – collectively up 11% from last year – outstripping most other sectors. Productions such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Paddington 2 and Game of Thrones deliver new employment opportunities for everyone, with every conceivable skill required, from special effects designers to costumiers, accountants and drivers. What’s more it creates the most potent export to showcase the UK and our innate creativity and is a powerful and timely reminder of the UK as a major global player.”
There were 130 domestic UK films made in the UK in 2017, with a total spend of £189.6 million. Independently produced domestic titles in 2017 include Idris Elba’s Yardie, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long, Peter Strickland’s In Fabric, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Mandie Fletcher’s Patrick, Tom Harper’s Country Music, Josie Rourke’s Mary, Queen of Scots and Tom Edmunds’ Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back)..
There were 13 UK co-productions going into production in 2017, between them spending £29.4m in the UK, down from £45.4m in 2016.
The box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) saw admissions rise by 1% to 171 million and 3.7% increase in value of ticket sales to £1.37 billion.
The top five biggest takers at the UK and ROI box office were:
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (made in the UK – £81m in under three weeks following its mid-December release)
- Beauty and the Beast (made in the UK – £72.4m),
- Dunkirk (made in the UK – £56.7m)
- Despicable Me 3 (£47.9m)
- Paddington 2 (made in the UK – an independent, UK/France production which has grossed £41.4m since its November release)
The market share of independent UK films at the box office was 9.5%, an increase from 7.4% in 2016, driven by the success of Paddington 2 and T2 Trainspotting.
Image of Paddington 2 from BFI website.
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