The UK box office has seen a 10% rise in ticket sales in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2014.
Figures released by the British Film Institute (BFI) show that there have been 83 million tickets sold so far this year. The figures include joint UK-US productions including Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Theory of Everything. It also includes independent films such as the Shaun the Sheep Movie, which made £13.7m and Far From the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan, which made £6.1m.
The BFI added that the market share of UK films was 32%, which is the highest share for UK films since 2012. A total of 358 films were released in cinemas in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in the first half of the year. Together they grossed £591m, compared to £490m from 342 films over the same period last year.
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said the report “shows that UK audiences are continuing to flock to the cinemas, ensuring film continues to be a vibrant contributor to the economy. It is particularly exciting for the UK creative sector to see films made in the UK achieving a strong share of the UK box office market.”
The biggest earning film so far this year is Jurassic World, which has grossed more than £57m so far. Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was partly made in the UK, is in second place with £48m. The box office should continue to be healthy over the next six months, with the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the latest James Bond film, Spectre boosting cinema attendance.
The BFI report also includes details on how much is being spent on film production in the UK. The first six months of the year have seen £594m spent on film production, spread across 79 films. Inward investment has accounted for £518m of that figure, across 21 movies. Domestic UK films budgeted at £500,000 and above have contributed £56m, across 24 films. Nevill described these figures as “encouraging.”
“At this stage of the year, the overall spend on film production is encouraging with a higher percentage of spend being made in the UK but with new productions in the pipeline and due to start filming in the coming months, the full year’s statistics at year end will give us a fuller picture.”
Figures also show that a further £279m has been spent on 30 high-end TV productions, including the final series of Downton Abbey, Churchill’s Secret, The Dresser and the third series of Endeavour.