Figures published today by the British Film Institute (BFI) show that audiences flocked to see homegrown movies more in 2011 than in any previous year, with Brit film making up 13.5% of the UK box office.
Films show in the UK but financed abroad also made up 34% of the total box office too.
BFI ceo Amanda Nevill said: “Film is at the very core of Britain’s cultural life and today’s figures show that the appetite for cinema-going across the UK is as healthy as ever. 2011 was a phenomenal year, with the box office results showing that independently produced British films captivated audiences.
“That said, we are pragmatic; it’s still a challenging time for filmmakers trying to raise finance to make independent British films in this tough economic climate. As we enter 2012 many challenges remain, but today’s figures clearly show that keeping audiences at the heart of everything we do will help the British film industry to enjoy even greater success in the future .”
It was only a few weeks ago that David Cameron was urging the British film industry to focus its efforts on making more commercial films, much to the displeasure of famed directors Ken Loach and Michael Winner, both of whom voiced their opinions.
But it now seems that much as Cameron encouraged a mainstream-commercial focus, there is a market in the UK for independently-financed films after all. This bumper year for British films also came in a year when cinema admissions were up 1.4% on the previous year.