UK Independent Film Versus English Speaking Foreign Imports

Over the last five years there has been a positive feeling in the British Film Industry in that there is a perceived trend towards growth in the independent UK film market. The general public may not see American film as a foreign import due to the English narrative, however this is still a battle between internal and external market share in this instance.

Although it may take some while yet to ascertain the exact effects of current marketing levels and tax exemptions, it would seem that UK backed independent films are certainly having a great effect in cinematic share at the Box Office both at home and abroad.

If we take a look at the figures for 2012 then it is clear that there has been a dramatic rise in popular British film production, those made at home in Britain. Yet it is not likely to take over from US made film enterprises and serials any time soon.

When comparing English speaking film making and distribution across the Atlantic there are several reasons why British film is successful but not yet sustaining similar levels to those that are produced in America. Hollywood and other American studios have been building on the success of sequels and remakes for decades.

Quite a few of these sequels have been released once a year or once every 18 months to two years, this enables the storyline to continue and audience capture and interest is kept to a maximum. Indeed even remakes of previous Hollywood hits have been prevalent in recent years, building on an existing relations which spans generations, even when the first release was perhaps twenty to thirty years ago.

Invariably American based studios and distributors have bought rights to what were originally British made films, these show in the UK stats as predominately UK films but studio backed. These are just as welcome as UK independent films, but the focus is on gaining a larger percentage of home market share by home produced film, than that offered by any external funding.

198 American films were imported and released in the UK in 2012 and contributed only to cinematic footfall. In comparison 14 were made in the UK but American studio backed which is of course more beneficial to the UK as a whole when made in the UK. However the statistic which should give the UK a more positive outlook going forward, is the 148 independent UK films which were released.

The distinction which we referred to earlier was that while market share was split 30.6 to America and 22.6 to the UK with 2.2% to UK but America studio backed, America's revenues were almost seven times the amount of independent UK films and although studio backed amounted to only 10% of UK releases, still managed double the amount in revenue. Clearly marketing budgets have an effect or footfall.