Brit Film Rises Worldwide – UK Box Office Is On The Way Up
The top 10 performing UK films last year took $2.6bn (£1.38bn), compared with $1.17bn in 2003, more than doubling their share of the worldwide box office in two years, according to figures announced by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell in Cannes.
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and Batman Begins were the top performing British films worldwide.
Films can be classed as British if they meet a set of criteria relating to where the film is shot, UK film talent, and the percentage of a film's budget spent in the UK, even of the films themselves may have originated elsewhere.
Cinema admissions for UK films in the US and many EU countries went up, according to the figures, to be published in the Film Council's statistical yearbook, despite the 2005 box office having a worldwide slump overall. Market share in US and Canada went up 16% (11% in 2004) and UK market share in France, Germany and Spain saw a 20% rise.
Top performing UK film at the US box office in 2005 was Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, which, although classed as British, was backed by US money.
The top 10 British films took $1.07bn in the US, which was up 41pc on 2004.
UK DOMESTIC REVENUE SHARE UP
On the domestic front, figures released by the UK Film Council show British films taking 34% of domestic revenue, which was the highest penetration in 10 years.
Figures released by the UK Film Council earlier this year showed British films accounting for 34pc of domestic box office revenue in 2005, the highest figure in 10 years.
INTERNAL PRODUCTION SPEND FALLS
On the downside, film production spend within the UK dropped, blamed on producers waiting to hear about changes that were going to be made to tax incentives. The relative strength of the UK pound against the US dollar was also a factor.
The figures were announced by Tessa Jowell at Cannes, where she was meeting figures from the film industry. She said the UK tax regime and efforts to promote British culture through film had helped the British industry.
She said: "It's testament to our dynamic and innovative film industry that the UK enjoyed such a strong showing across the world in 2005, despite a down-turn in worldwide cinema admissions."
Proposals for a new tax regime are set to come into law in July, but some British producers have raised concerns that they lose out under the new system if they film in locations outside the UK.
JOWELL EXPRESSES CONFIDENCE
But Ms Jowell said: "The new tax regime, which forms part of the Finance Bill... is simplified and provides a good rate of return for films of different size and scale.
"I think, from my discussions with the industry, that the simplification of the system has been welcomed.
"There's a period between now and July, when the Finance Bill is expected to get Royal Assent, when prospective visitors may feel a little bit nervous and have less confidence in certainty of our Parliamentary system than others.
"The fact is the new regime was developed in very close consultation with the industry. It was designed also to get rid of some of the abuses of the regime.
"I'm confident that this is a regime that has the support of the industry, from which the industry will benefit, and I hope that the evidence of that will be in the figures from years to come which show British film having an increasing share of the world market."
The Top 15 UK Films of 2005
1 Harry Potterand the Goblet of Fire $808m
2 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory $472m
3 Batman Begins $371m
4 Kingdom of Heaven $210m
5 Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit $183m
6 Sahara $122m
7 The Corpse Bride $118m
8 The Phanton of the Opera $110m
9 The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy $104m
10 The Brothers Grimm $101m
11 White Noise $92m
12 Finding Neverland $86m
13 Closer $83m
14 Pride and Prejudice $78m
15 The Constant Gardener $60m