BFI Statistical Yearbook launched today highlights UK’s success in 2013

Today saw the release of the 2014 BFI Statistical Yearbook which provides data on the UK film industry in 2013, and the publication offers yet more evidence of a thriving production sector. Last year saw British films have a major impact at the global box office and international production within the UK continue to prosper, with film and television generating over £1 billion of inward investment.

British creativity shines in film and television

The figures for inward investment serve to reinforce the UK’s reputation as a global centre for major film and television production.

International film production within the UK generated £868 million in 2013, with titles including:

  • Disney projects Muppets Most Wanted, co-written and directed by Brit James Bobin, and Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh
  • Marvel’s soon-to-be-released Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Twentieth Century Fox’s biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, directed by Ridley Scott

Warner Bros. also based three major titles out of their new Hertfordshire-based facility, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in 2013: Ron Howard’s Heart of the Sea, co-written by Peter Morgan, the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., directed and co-written by Guy Richie.

Inward investment high-end television also saw great success in 2013, encouraged by the TV Tax Relief introduced last April, with UK spend on inward investment television reaching £150 million. Productions shooting in the UK included season four of HBO’s Game of Thrones, co-directed by Neil Marshall, Sony/Starz’ historical fantasy Outlander, co-directed by Richard Clark and BBC Worldwide/Sundance’s critically acclaimed The Honourable Woman, written and directed by Hugo Blick.

The UK’s role as a major player in international production was further reinforced by UK qualifying films’ strong performance at the global box office in 2013, grossing a total of $4.1 billion.

Releases included Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, Paramount’s World War Z and Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 - titles which utilised world-class crews, locations, studios, VFX and post-production facilities throughout the UK, with production support provided by the British Film Commission.

Home grown talent, global success

The UK’s creative talents also prospered in 2013, with the critical and commercial success of Stephen Frear’s Philomena written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and starring Judi Dench, Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years a Slave, which won the Oscar for Best Picture directed by British talent Steve McQueen, and the stunning visual effects in Warner Bros. Gravity created by UK-based company Framestore.

Speaking about the UK film industry’s performance in 2013, 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.”

Major features shooting in 2014 include Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and LucasFilm’s much anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. Also in production in the UK are high-end television titles including HBO/BBC’s The Casual Vacancy and Playground Entertainment/Company Pictures’ Wolf Hall, indicating that UK production will continue to perform strongly in 2014.

Explore the BFI Statistical Yearbook 2014