Spend on film production and high-end television in the U.K. increased by 11 percent in 2017 to reach almost £3 billion ($4.2 billion), according to official figures published by the BFI’s research and statistics unit.
The spend on film production in the U.K. in 2017 reached the highest level on record with £1.9 billion ($2.7 billion), a 12-percent increase on the previous year. Major films included Tim Burton’s Dumbo, Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, Idris Elba’s Yardie, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, David Yates’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2, Wash Westmoreland’s Colette, Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission Impossible 6.
There was a significant growth in high-end TV production, which reached £938 million ($1.3 billion). Last year, there were 49 inward investment productions generating a spend in the U.K. of £684 million ($969 million), 27-percent higher than 2016 and a new record in this area of production since statistics have been collected. High-end international TV productions made in the U.K. last year include Game of Thrones (season eight), Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Outlander (season four), Vanity Fair, Peaky Blinders, Howards End, Rellik, The Miniaturist, Kiri, Hard Sun and White Dragon.
Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries, said: “From Star Wars to The Crown, the U.K. is a creative powerhouse for developing many award-winning films and shows enjoyed by millions globally. We have world-class studios, a talented workforce and highly competitive tax reliefs, and these fantastic stats show investment in our screen industries is booming.”
Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO of the BFI, said: “Once again, U.K. film and high-end TV surpass expectations and records are broken, with a staggering almost £3 billion spent on film and high-end TV production. We have a consistently growing industry, and doing so at speed—up 11 percent from last year and outstripping most other sectors. Productions such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Paddington 2 and Game of Thrones deliver new employment opportunities for everyone U.K.-wide, with every conceivable skill required, from special effects designers to costumiers, accountants and drivers. What’s more, it creates the most potent export to showcase the U.K. and our innate creativity and is a powerful and timely reminder of the U.K. as a major global player.”
Adrian Wootton OBE, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said: “Film and high-end TV are big business, and today’s figures show the U.K. continuing to meet the growing demand for content and world-class skills, talent and technical expertise. Whether producing lavish period dramas or fantasy epics, every corner of the U.K. is delivering at the highest level, and our success ultimately translates to economic growth, job creation and training opportunities. This said, however, global competition remains fierce and the landscape continues to shift, meaning we can’t afford to rest on our laurels when it comes to supporting our industry and the highly skilled workforce that drives it.”