British films take over $4 billion in box office in 2008

MUMBAI: British films took over $4 billion in box-office takings worldwide in 2008.

The record breaking result gave the UK 15 per cent of the global market share, up from 12 per cent in 2007 – further evidence of the UK film industry’s global reach, as well as the strength of its contribution to the domestic economy.

UK Film Council CEO John Woodward said, "Global cinema audiences spent well over $4 billion on British films last year – that’s a phenomenal achievement and is a measure of UK film’s vital contribution to the wider economy. Maintaining that level of commercial success is essential – encouraging inward investment, securing jobs, and boosting Britain’s reputation as a world leader in cultural excellence."

UK Minister for film Barbara Follett added, "British films have made a huge impact on the world stage in the past year and this is testament to the talent, drive and creativity of our film-makers and actors, spectacularly recognised by the awards successes of recent months. Film production remains a vital creative industry and the tax credit continues to bring in a high level of inward investment. The Government will do all it can to ensure that we continue to provide the funding, infrastructure and support needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the world film market."

The top 10 UK films took over $3 billion worldwide, while eight films each grossed over $100 million, according to newly-released figures.

Big budget films attracted significant inward investment last year with Quantum of Solace, Mamma Mia! The Movie and The Dark Knight all major contributors to the UK’s global box office success. Other titles to make the UK top ten worldwide included films such as Atonement, The Other Boleyn Girl, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

This level of inward investment underlines the UK film industry’s capacity to bring world-class movie-making to Britain and reinforces the UK’s ability to operate at the highest level on the global stage.

In addition to their global takings, Quantum of Solace, Mamma Mia! The Movie and The Dark Knight alone contributed in excess of £100 million to the UK economy, highlighting the central role of film in the creative industries’ contribution to the country’s balance sheet.

This commercial success has come at a time when British film continues to enjoy critical acclaim. Three British features are featured in competition at Cannes, including the UK Film Council-funded Bright Star and Fish Tank.

On the other hand, top performing UK films in the US were The Dark Knight, Quantum of Solace, Mama Mia! The Movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Slumdog Millionaire.