UK cinemas saw a surge in admissions totalling 83 million visits during the first half of 2015, 10% higher than for the first half of last year. The market share of UK films, which includes UK/US films such as The Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Theory of Everything, plus independent films such as Shaun The Sheep Movie, accounted for a 32% share of the total box office compared to 26.8% over the first half of 2014 and the highest since 2012.
The half-year statistics covering the first six months of 2015 at the UK box office and production activity in the UK were released recently by the BFI. The full year’s statistics and analysis of the film sector will be published in January 2016.
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “The half-year report shows that UK audiences are continuing to flock to the cinemas ensuring film continues to be a vibrant contributor to the economy. It is particularly exciting for the UK creative sector to see films made in the UK achieving a strong share of the UK box office market.
“At this stage of the year, the overall spend on film production is encouraging with a higher percentage of spend being made in the UK, but with new productions in the pipeline and due to start filming in the coming months, the full year’s statistics at year end will give us a fuller picture.”
Leading the upturn in cinema business is Jurassic World, which has grossed over £57 million to date at the box office followed by The Avengers: Age of Ultron (£48 million) which was made in the UK, and Fast & Furious 7 (£38.5 million). The top 20 film rankings over the period also include UK/US productions The Theory Of Everything (£21.5 million), Cinderella (£21 million), Kingsman: The Secret Service (£16.4 million), The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (£15.6 million) and the UK/US/Canadian film Into the Woods (£9.9 million).
Leading the field amongst independent UK films at the box office is Shaun The Sheep Movie (£13.7 million), Far From the Madding Crowd (£6.1 million) and The Woman in Black: Angel Of Death (£5 million).
A total of 358 films were released in cinemas in the UK and the Republic of Ireland grossing £591 million (up to 12 July) compared to £490 million from 342 films over the same period last year.
The first six months of the year saw a spend of £594 million on film production in the UK across 79 films. Of this, inward investment films accounted for £518 million of spend across 21 feature films with domestic UK films (budgeted at £500,000 and above) contributing £56 million from 24 films. The spend on high-end TV production in the UK was £279 million across 30 productions including Downton Abbey (series six), Outlander (season two), War And Peace, Churchill’s Secret, The Dresser, Endeavour (series three) and Jericho (series one).
The rolling year statistics give a broader view of production activity rather than shorter periods since the spend and production starts statistics for film production activity are determined by the date that films start filming. The 12-month period (July 2014 to June 2105) saw a total spend on production in the UK of £1.199 billion compared to £1.549 billion for the previous rolling 12 months (July 2013 to June 2014). Within this total inward investment accounted for £1.062 billion compared to £1.254 billion over the previous 12 months; domestic UK films (over £500,000) totalled £99.8 million compared to £216.3 million and co-productions £25.9 million compared to £60.8 million.