Box office tills around the world ring to the sound of UK talent
DARK KNIGHT, the new Batman film, smashed US cinema attendance records this weekend and may well do the same here, but the bigger story at the box office is the rise of British films.
A new report by the UK Film Council shows that the British film industry made £1.7 billion in 2007, a record. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix led the way, taking nearly £50 million in the UK, with the Golden Compass second on £26 million and The Bourne Ultimatum (set in London) third with £23 million.
Overall, British films made up over 30% of UK cinema ticket sales, the highest proportion for decades.
But British cinema's impact on a worldwide scale is perhaps the more surprising phenomenon to emerge from the research. The UK Film Council say that of the top 200 box office movies released between 2001 and 2007, 30 had major British input.
"We've got more to look forward to this year with a Bond and a Potter," said John Woodward, top man at the council, "as well as Brideshead Revisited, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and Keira Knightley as the The Duchess all due in cinemas soon."
Due sooner still is Dark Knight (official release 25th July, on preview already), but even a movie as American as that has Englishman Christopher Nolan as director.