UK film production spend hits £1.1 billion

Film production spend in the UK reached £1.1bn last year, an increase of 7.5% compared to 2012. The news was announced this morning by the BFI as part of their Statistical Yearbook 2014, proving the UK film industry is in a very healthy state indeed.

bfi yearbook

The stats included cinema admissions, public investment in film and VoD, and a raft of other interesting key areas from the world of UK film.

As well as the huge production spend on new films shooting in the UK (£680m of which was from inward investment productions; up 28%), UK films took $4.1bn at the global box office (an 11% share of the world market but down from 15% compared to 2012).

The UK film industry turned over £7.3bn in 2013, employing more than 66,000 people across the film and video industries - down from 70,000 in 2012. With a flock of Hollywood productions choosing to shoot in the UK and our studios growing by the minute, it would be no surprise if these numbers increase next year.

And it was good news for female talent, as results showed the number of films released in the UK written by women were up from 13.4% to 14.2% in 2013. The number of female directing talent almost doubled, with 14.1% UK films released in the UK helmed by women compared to 7.8% in 2012.

The UK box office receipts were in excess of £1bn for the third successive year, with Les Miserables beating Gravity as the highest grossing film in the UK, totalling £40.8m - making it one of the UK's most successful films since 1989. Independent UK film Philomena came in sixth, with a box office gross of just over £11m. Ron Howard's Rush followed in seventh place, with £10.1m. The brilliant Philomena came out on top in the top 20 UK independent films, with Rush taking second place and Quartet in third place.

A total of 698 films were released in 2013, more than ever before. This makes an average of 13 titles a week, however. Despite growing numbers, the BFI expressed concerns that this can make the market place a little overcrowded and the success of a film can fade more quickly with a high volume of releases.

Unsurprisingly, with the likes of platforms such as Netflix dominating homes and devices, the Video on Demand market was also up by 37%. But the preferred method for watching films outside the cinema is still television, offering almost 7000 film titles across all channels, reaching a cumulative film audience of 3.4bn.

Commenting on the stats, culture minister Ed Vaizey said: "Today's figures reveal that the UK film industry continues to be not only one of the world's greatest providers of cinematic entertainment, but also a massive driver of economic growth. With film production spend up almost 30%, and box office takings of more than £1 billion for the third consecutive year, the industry is thriving and we will continue to support this dynamic sector."

Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the BFI, said: "It is a very vibrant and buoyant picture for UK film.  The Governm