13/10/2003

Lottery-backed UK films net £125m in receipts

National Lottery investments in the UK film industry has generated box office takings of over £125 million, new figures released today have revealed.

Overall, £13 million of Lottery funding invested by the UK Film Council has generated £125.79 million of revenue averaging a return of more than £9 million for every £1 million invested, and revenues will only increase as films continue their release patterns across the world and through ancillary media such as video, DVD and television. Films financed with the backing of the UK Film Council notched up 31,450,000 cinema visits across the world.

UK Film Council Chief Executive Officer John Woodward said: “The fact that so many of these films have generated such interest amongst cinema-goers is a testament to the depth of British film talent, both in front of and behind the camera.

“Without support from the Lottery and the tax incentives provided by the government these films would not have been made, our film talent would have had less opportunity to develop their skills, and millions of people in the UK and across the world would have lost the opportunity to enjoy exciting films."

Nine of the 20 UK Film Council backed films released so far have taken more than £1 million at the box office. Three films have each taken more than £10 million – 'Bend it like Beckham', 'Gosford Park' (£49 million worldwide) and 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. The 'Magdalene Sisters' is also about to reach that level with £9.5 million earned to date. Of the films for which figures are available, four took less than £100,000.

The UK Film Council was established in April 2000, when it took over responsibility for providing the bulk of National Lottery funding for new UK films from the Arts Council of England. The returns on film investments are used to fund new British film production, support new film talent and the development of a sustainable UK film industry.

(gmcg)

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