Tuesday, May 06, 2014

UK Cinema 2013 review - BFI key facts

You can find a wide range of BFI reports here (see screenshot below).

I've been reading through their 2013 Statistical Yearbook report - as its a cool 252 pages long, the following are just a few of the many points you can pick up from a skim or a more leisurely read yourself.

2013 BFI Yearbook - Selected Points
Note: Definition of ‘UK film’
For the purposes of this chapter, a UK film is one which is certified as such by the UK Secretary of
State for Culture, Media and Sport under Schedule 1 of the Films Act 1985, via the Cultural Test, under one of the UK’s bilateral co-production agreements or the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production, or a film which has not applied for certification but which is obviously British on the basis of its content, producers, finance and talent. Most UK films in the analysis (including the major studio-backed films) fall into the first group – films officially certified as British.
[p.76; see longer quote at the end]
Only the US and Japan have a larger 'filmed entertainment' market than the UK (valued at £4bn).

Many commentators argue that China will eventually overtake the US market, even though its currently far behind, but you can see why the 'Gant rule' makes sense from the comparison table below.

As you can see above, VoD grew 50% since 2011 to £243m, driven by NetFlix and LoveFilm.
WT released 12 films in 2010-12, more than any other UK producer (Warp 5), at an average £21m budget (£250m budget combined).
The combined budgets of all UK-based productions in 2012 was £929m (down from £1.3bn in 2011), but 2/3 of this was 'inward investment' (essentially, Hollywood finance), and just 9 films account for 65% of the £929m total.
UK Indie (which includes the likes of WT) production spending accounted for an average 27% of the total spend over the past decade.
Of the 249 films produced in the UK in 2012, 181 were 'domestic' (UK Indie), and most of these (115) were budgeted under £0.5m. Over the past decade, 89% of UK-produced films have been by 'UK Indies' or co-produced with these.
In 2012 the median budget for domestic productions was £200k; for co-productions £1.8m and for inward investment films £9.7m (having spiked at £82m in 2011).
UK films (widely defined, and including Skyfall) accounted for 15% ($5.3bn) of global box office in 2012 (UK Indies at $600k just 2% though), including 16% of US box office. Across most foreign territories, UK Indies account for around 1-3% of box office, with the wider UK category closer to 10-15%.
On the Sky Movies channels just 2% of films were of UK origins.
Box office hit a new record high of £1.1bn - not bad for an industry supposedly facing ruin from piracy.
£366m of public money supported the UK film industry (mainly production, 70%, but also distribution and exhibition). 59% of this was through tax relief, 14% National Lottery and 11% government grants to BFI and National Film + Television School. Film4 contributed £15m and BBC Films £12.5m. The 4th largest production grant by the BFI was to Warp's upcoming '71 (£1.2m grant).
Film production is overwhlemingly based in London (57% of UK companies) and the South East (14%); by contrast, Yorkshire and the Humber account for 3%. If considered by turnover, that London/South East share rises to 85% (79%, 6%).
647 films were released in the UK; the top 100 account for 92% of all box office; the 230 foreign language releases account for just 2%, averaging just 17 screens at peak. 198 originated from the US (at 1/3, much lower than the average since 2000 of 90% of releases), accounting for 62% of box office, with 148 from UK Indies (accounting for 9% of box office).
Only 48 were rated 18, accounting for just 2% of box office; 277 at 15 (22% of box office), 186 at 12A (52%) of box office, 86 at PG (14%), 35 at U (10%).
Audience demographics are changing - but is the industry responding? 15-24s, the most sought after audience, accounted for just 25% of tickets, an all-time low ... while over 45s accounted for 36% of the over 15 audience. While producers seem slow to reflect this (though the likes of Anna Karenina and Les Mis show WT is targeting this audience; Warp films such as Tyrannosaur certainly skew older), we are seeing a slow shakeup of the multiplex-dominated exhibition scene. The new Everyman cinema in Leeds, with its premium priced tickets, large sofa-style seats with tables and (as is fairly standard in the rest of Europe) licensed status (you can take aloholic drinks in) are clearly not designed to entice the popcorn-throwing, mobile-using teen/tween that puts off many adults from multiplex screenings. Smallscale (under 100 seats) indie cinemas are also popping up across the UK, with Ilkley shortly to gain one such.
Half of all films released peaked at under 50 screens (245 films actually under ten screens), none making £1m box office, with just 26 getting over 500 screens.
From 2000-2010 around 20% of films budgeted under £2m got a UK release; 70% budgeted over £5m did.
The average advertising spend by a US-backed UK film was £1.7m (total UK film marketing spend in 2012: £189m).
Just 10 distributors account for 95% of UK box office - see table below. 

You'll note that the top 6 are ... the 'big 6' that also dominate production. The BFI note on this:
By the end of 2012 90% of screens were digital-equipped. There were 3,817 screens (75% multiplex; 1,564 3D digital) in 769 cinemas, up from 2,758 in 1999.
Exhibition is even more concentrated than production or distribution, with a 'big 3' operating in the UK:
28 companies provided 131 'event' cinema occasions, such as streamed opera
There were 600,000 admissions to over 50 UK film festivals.
As you'd expect, many films were filmly gender-skewed in their audience:

You can find further data analysis by other demographics, such as class/socio-economic status. Anna Karenina had the 3rd-highest proportion of AB audience at 49% (30% of the UK population are classified AB) by contrast, 60% of Streetdance 2 (UK) was C2DE (38% of the actual population).
A reminder of what is meant by 'British' film:


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