British film industry earns $2 billion in record-breaking year

London, Feb 13 (IANS) Film production in Britain last year earned a record-breaking $2 billion for the country’s economy, a new report revealed on Sunday.

Xinhua news agency quoted the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as saying that 2016 proved to be a bumper year for Britain’s creative industries.

Spending on British film and television production in Britain in 2016, was 13 per cent higher than in 2015, according to figures compiled by the British Film Institute (BFI).

BFI said that of the total spending on making films, $1.7 billion was invested by 48 major inward investment films basing themselves in Britain.

A spokesman for DCMS said: “Showing that we’re more than capable of competing on the world stage, this year’s top three grossing films at the UK box office were all made on British soil: ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ and ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’.”

“Overall there was a good turnout at the UK box office too, with cinema ticket sales at a second time high, raking in 1.227 billion pounds ($1.53 billion).”

DCMS said as well as a thriving film sector in 2016, overseas companies flocking to Britain spent nearly $600 million making high-end television shows.

The report also shows foreign markets clamoured for British creative content, with figures showing that British sales of television exports to international markets reached $1.62 billion in 2016, up 10 per cent on the previous year.

The British Film Commission said a host of British-made films are set to hit the big screen this year, including Warner Bros.’s “Ready Player One”, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and Twentieth Century Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express”.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI said: “British stories and British talent are firing the global imagination. Films and television series are generating investment, creating jobs and thrilling audiences.”

–IANS

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