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 Statistics Unit which produces official statistics and cultural research on the UK film industry throughout the year.

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

Production

Official figures for 2020 show a £2.84 billion spend in the UK for film and high-end TV production, despite months of suspended filming due to Covid-19. This figure shows a drop of just 21% on the 2019 high, despite disrupted production schedules over five to six months. The year started strongly with record production spend for the first quarter – but by the end of March production was suspended. Some post-production and VFX were able to continue, but physical production only started to renew from mid-July.

However, the industry showed a strong recovery in the final quarter of 2020 generating a healthy £1.19 billion spend for film and high-end TV, the third highest 3-month spend on record.

Inward investment and co-production spend on film and high-end TV in the UK reached £2.36 billion, which represents 83% of the entire production spend, underlining the UK’s global reputation as the world-leading centre for film and TV production.

Domestic UK films generated a spend of £119.5 million, which represents a 43% decrease from 2019.

Admissions and box office

The year started strongly with January and February admissions to UK cinemas up by 20% on 2019, but the closure of cinemas across the UK due to Covid-19 and reduced capacity screenings during restrictions saw an overall 75% drop in UK admissions from the 2019 figure. Collectively, films on release in UK cinemas attracted 44 million admissions which was far off the UK’s previously consistent high levels of between 171 and 177 million admissions (2017-2019)

As a result of studio titles being pulled from the release schedule, UK independent productions increased their market share to 14%, led by Guy Ritchie’s The Gentleman (£12 million), Emma (£7 million) and The Personal History of David Copperfield (£6 million) - pictured above.

Three of 2020’s top five grossing films at the UK box office were made in the UK: 1917 (£44.1 million), Tenet (£17.5 million) and Dolittle (£15.9 million).

Distributors were faced with rescheduling many films, including major releases such as the Bond film No Time To Die, Black Widow, Death on Th Nile, Fast & Furious, Top Gun Maverick, West Side Story and The Witches. Many other titles were instead released or premiered on VOD platforms.

Cinema admissions 44 million
Box office revenue £307 million
Top film at the UK box office 1917 - £44 million
Top independent UK film in the UK The Gentleman - £12 million

Statistical Year Book

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

Download