Facts and Stats

We've put together some key facts to help give you a picture of the UK film industry landscape. The figures are provided by the BFI's Research and Statistics Unit which produces official statistics and cultural research on the UK film industry throughout the year.

Scroll down for an overview or download the Year Book for a comprehensive look.

Production

The film production sector in the UK continues to flourish according to independent figures published by the BFI earlier this year.

In 2019 film production in the UK generated a total spend of £1.95 billion, a 17% increase on the previous year’s £1.84 billion and the second highest figure since these statistics were first recorded.

2019 also saw the second highest level of spend by international filmmakers ever recorded, reaching £1.77 billion. This highlights the confidence international filmmakers have in the UK’s creativity, the expertise of our crews, and world-class production facilities combined with the UK film tax relief as well as the wide range of professional services available including the support provided by the British Film Commission.

Major international films such as Avengers: Endgame (pictured top), A Star Wars Story IX: The Rise of Skywalker, James Bond: No Time To Die and Aladdin are generating growth in the UK film industry by bringing investment, creating jobs, and helping film professionals develop new skills which benefit independent productions.

Film production on home-grown films continues with 94 films going into production including Emma directed by Autumn de Wilde; Last Night in Soho directed by Edgar Wright; Ammonite directed by Francis Lee (pictured left); Dream Horse directed by Euros Lyn; and Mogul Mowgli directed by Bassam Tariq.

Admissions and box office

For the ninth consecutive year the UK box office exceeded £1 billion reaching £1.25 billion. Admissions continue to reflect the plateau trend which has typified the UK cinema business over the past decade, with 176 million tickets sold, a 1% decrease on 2018 which was the highest level for 40 years.

Cinema admissions 176.1 million
Box office revenue £1.25 billion
Number of releases in the UK 764
Total UK films 191
Studio-backed films 23
UK independent films 168
UK box office share of UK films 47%
UK box office share of US studio-backed films 35%
UK box office share of independent UK films 13%
International share of UK films 25%
International market share of US studio-backed UK films 22.4%
International market share of independent UK films 2.2%
Top film at the UK box office Avengers: Endgame - £88.7 million
Top UK film in the UK Avengers: Endgame - £88.7 million
Top independent UK film in the UK Donwton Abbey - £28.2 million

Value to the economy

Generating a turnover of £14.8 billion in 2017, the film industry in the UK continues to generate significant value for the UK economy. Its direct contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was £6.1billion, and it exported over £2.6 billion worth of services.

The global theatrical market, which hit a new record in 2019, was worth just over $42 billion with UK films earning $10.3 billion, or a 24.6% share.

Image: Downton Abbey (Dir. Michael Engler)

Talent and awards

UK films and talent continue to captivate the international industry winning 26 awards during the 2019/20 awards season, amounting to a 13% share of eligible awards.

At the Cannes Film Festival 2019, the Golden Eye Documentary Prize was won by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts for the UK film For Sama. And Emily Beecham received the Best Actress award for her performance in Jessica Hausner's Little Joe.

Successes also include 2020 Academy Awards® to Roger Deakins with Best Cinematography for 1917, and for Jacqueline Durrant with Best Costume Design for Little Women.

UK films continue to have a strong presence throughout the international festivals and awards calendar.

Same Mendes' technically ambitious war film 1917 (pictured right) led the pack in the number of accoladares by sweeping the British Academy Film Awards in seven categories and winning three American Academy® awards. The short documentary Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) also won the American Academy® awards.

In addition to prizes won by UK films, British talent won three awards for work on internatioanl films. Mick Jagger with Giusseppe Capotondi and Donald Sutherland won an award at the Venice International Film Festival for The Burnt Orange Heresy. Julie Andrews was also awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice.

Statistical Year Book

Compiled by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit, this yearbook presents the most comprehensive picture of film in the UK and the performance of UK films abroad. 

Download