2011 was such a good year for film, and the British Film Institute have released the year’s final tally at the box office that reflect just how good a year it was. The figures show an increase of 5% from 2010, taking a total of £1.04bn., marking the first time the UK box office has surpassed the £1bn.-mark.
The year saw a release of so many great films, judging from both critical and commercial measures, including the likes of The King’s Speech, Fast Five, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Inbetweeners, and of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which was the year’s most successful film across the world, taking £73m. at our box office, and a total of $1.3bn. from cinemas around the globe.
The total number of tickets sold was also up 1.4% from 2010 to 171.6 million, and the independent British film industry also had its best year to date in terms of market share, recording a figure of 13.5%.
The BFI note that the strong performance last year was fuelled both by independent British films like The Inbetweeners as well as blockbusters made in the UK with British talent, crew, and services, like the Harry Potter finale and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (though Robert Downey, Jr. is of course an American in the lead, but that’s neither here nor there, because he’s so damn cool).
The report notes that the year also saw a drop in the number of films made, however, reduced from 262 in 2010 to 169 last year, a drop of roughly 35.5%.
“It’s still a challenging time for filmmakers trying to raise finance to make independent British films in this tough economic climate,” said the BFI’s Amanda Nevill.
“As we enter 2012, many challenges remain but today’s figures clearly show that keeping audiences at the heart of everything we do will help the British film industry to enjoy even greater success in the future and continue to be an important contributor to the UK economy.”
The BFI’s director general, Liz Bales, added further,
“It’s great to see film fans’ enthusiasm for the fantastic creative output of the British film industry… The BFI figures provide further evidence that the overwhelming majority of people are willing to pay for film, TV and video content.”
Though there has been talk of the Olympics this year providing competition for the box office this summer, I’m remaining hopeful and optimistic that it won’t have a significant negative impact. The Olympics will be running from 27th July to 12th August, during which time the main films currently scheduled for release include Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, which should be able to draw a strong young audience along with their parents; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which should pull the teen and young-adult audience; Seth MacFarlane’s feature debut, Ted, which is going to be awesome; and Step Up 4 at the tail-end of the Olympics, which will no doubt draw teens and fans of the earlier franchise.
Provided it does well (which everyone’s expecting it to), The Amazing Spider-Man will probably also be in cinemas at the start of the games, with its release on 4th July. And of course The Dark Knight Rises will be hitting cinemas a week before the Games kick-off on 20th July, and I’ll take the Nolan brothers’ conclusion to their Batman trilogy over the Olympics any day of the week, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of others who’d do the same.
So here’s to hoping that this time next year, we’ll be bringing you a similar report saying that 2012 has been even better than 2011 was, getting even further past the £1bn.-mark, which will hopefully become a benchmark in the years to come.
Source: BBC, who note that the figures account for UK cinemas, not including the Republic of Ireland.