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 Statistic Unit who produce a range of official statistics on the UK film industry throughout the year.

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


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

In 2017 film production in the UK generated a total spend of £1.911 billion, a 12% increase on the previous year’s £1.709 billion and the highest figure since these statistics were first recorded.

2017 also saw the highest level of spend by international filmmakers ever recorded, reaching £1.692 billion. This is largely attributed to 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: Infinity War, Solo: A Star Wars Story (pictured above), Mary Poppins Returns and Beauty and the Beast 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 has continued to be consistent with 72 films going into production (budgeted at £500,000 and above) including Mary Queen of Scots directed by Josie Rourke; Yardie directed by Idris Elba (pictured left); Peterloo directed by Mike Leigh; Close directed by Vicky Jewson; and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Admissions and box office

For the seventh consecutive year the UK box office exceeded £1 billion reaching a record high of £1.3 billion. Admissions continue to reflect the plateau trend which has typified the UK cinema business over the past decade, with 170.6 million tickets sold, a 1% increase on 2016.

Cinema admissions 170.6 million
Box office revenue £1.3 billion
Number of releases in the UK 761
Total UK films 160
Studio-backed films 20
UK independent films 140
UK box office share of UK films 37%
UK box office share of US studi-backed films 27%
UK box office share of independent UK films 10%
International share of UK films 21%
International market share of US studio-backed UK films 18.6%
International market share of independent UK films 2.0%
Top film at the UK box office Star Wars: The Last Jedi- £81.4 million
Top UK film in the UK Star Wars: The Last Jedi- £81.4 million
Top independent UK film in the UK Paddington 2 - £41.4 million

Value to the economy

Generating a turnover of £10.2bn in 2015, 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 £5.2 billion, and it exported almost £2 billion worth of services.

The global theatrical market, which hit a new record in 2017, was worth just over $39 billion with UK films earning $8.1 billion, or a 20.6% share.

Image: The Last Jedi (Dir. Rian Johnson)

Talent and awards

UK films and talent continue to captivate the international industry winning 29 awards during the 2017/18 awards season, amounting to a 17% share of eligible awards.

At Cannes Film Festival 2018, the Polish-UK-French co-production Cold War (pictured left) won the Best Director award for Pawel Pawlikowski.  Also screened at the festival were Kevin Macdonald’s documentary Whitney and the Solo: A Star Wars Story from Ron Howard which was made in the UK.

Successes also include 2018 Academy Awards® for Gary Oldman as Best Actor for Darkest Hour and for Roger Deakins with Best Cinematography for Blade Runner 2049.  

UK films continue to have a strong presence throughout the international festival calendar. Cannes 2017 saw filmmaker Lynne Ramsey share the Best Screenplay award for You Were Never Really Here at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival with Yorgos Lanthimos for The Killing of the Sacred Deer. At the BAFTAs, director Rungano Nuyoni and producer Emily Morgan won the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer Award for I Am Not a Witch. In September 2017 the Toronto International Film Festival invited over 30 titles to take part including Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Paul McGuigan), Darkest Hour (Joe Wright), Mary Shelley (Haifaa Al-Mansour) and Breathe (Andy Serkis) all of which enjoyed Gala Presentations. The Berlin International Film Festival in February launched Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, Toppen av ingenting (The Real Estate) by Måns Månsson and Axel Petersen and Entebbe (José Padilha) amongst others.

Statistical Year Book

Compiled by the BFI’s Research and Statistic Unit, this yearbook presents the most comprehensive picture of film in the UK and the performance of UK films abroad during 2016.