Published on: 23 July 2013 in Industry

British film industry reaches highest ever turnover, BFI research shows

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The latest BFI Statistics Yearbook shows the UK film industry had a record turnover of £7.7 billion in 2011, contributing a total of £3.8 billion to the UK economy.

Box office admissions reached £172.5 million last year, the third highest level for the last 40 years, with UK box office receipts totalling £1.1 billion, the highest on record. Skyfall alone took £103 million at UK cinemas, making it the highest grossing film of all time.

A total of 647 films were released in 2012, 89 more than in 2011. Once again British films held their own, taking 32% of the total UK and Republic of Ireland box office. There was good news for UK independent films too, with the likes of Woman in Black and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel helping them to take 9% of the total box office, their second highest market share on record. The success of the latter goes some way to explain the fact that for the first time ever over-45s are now the biggest audience demographic in UK cinemas.

Elsewhere, UK directors continue to prove their worth internationally: 27 of the top 200 highest grossing films since 2001 were directed by Brits. However, there was less good news for those working in the independent sector, with more than 80% of writers and directors associated with just one independent film between 2003 and 2012. Although in some instances directors may have made the move to bigger budget productions (Gareth Edwards  being a prime example), more often than not it seems these creatives have simply been unable to find a second opportunity.

Also cause for concern was the lack of women directors working in UK cinema in 2012. British films directed by men made up a total of 92.2% of last year's output, an increase of more than 7% year-on-year. This translates into 165 male directors and just 14 female directors, the lowest proportion since 2007 (more on this here).

To read the Statistical Yearbook in full, please click here

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