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Official 2022 statistics reveal a record £6.27 billion film and high-end television production spend in the UK

The latest official figures published today by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit show significant growth in UK film and high-end TV (HETV) production with a record levels of spend contributing to the UK economy and the recovery of the sector. The combined spend by film and high-end television production (HETV) during 2022 reached £6.27 billion, the highest ever reported and £1.83 billion higher than for the pre-pandemic year 2019.

The lion’s share of the total £6.27 billion spend was contributed by HETV production with £4.30 billion, or 69%; with feature film production contributing £1.97 billion, or 31% of the total spend. Inward investment films and HETV shows delivered £5.37 billion, or 92% of the combined production spend underlining the UK’s global reputation as the world-leading centre for film and TV production. Co-productions which are generally made by independent producers saw a 3% increase in spend with £59 million, representing continued growth over the past five years.

Of the total £4.29 billion HETV production spend:

  • inward investment shows contributed £3.62 billion (84% of total HETV spend and a 3% decrease on 2021)
  • domestic UK shows accounted for £632.7 million (15% of total HETV spend and a 4% decrease on 2021)
  • co-production spend was £36.5 million (less than 1% of total spend but a threefold increase on 2021).

Of the total £1.97 billion spend on film production:

  • inward investment films contributed £1.74 billion (88% of total film spend and a 31% increase on 2021)
  • domestic UK films accounted for £173.6 million (8% of total film spend and a 31% decrease on 2021)
  • co-productions accounted for £59.1 million (3% of total film spend and a 3.5% increase on 2021)

Dominique Unsworth, MBE, Producer, CEO of Resource Productions, commented: “The record-spend figures showcase not only the success of the UK Film and High End TV industry, but also the continuous and invigorated growth of the same. Facilitated by world-class talent and production, the creative sector will continue to create new jobs and play a vital role in our economy. We should seize the opportunity to invest in our diverse workforce and support our local supply chain.”

Paul Britton, CEO of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, commented: “The UK Film and High End TV Industry is at the forefront of a very competitive global industry, and with record-spending statistics like this, it will continue to pave the way in the future. Building on its continued success, the industry attracts major international firms and investment into the UK, further facilitating its growth and expansion.”

The production statistics also reveal an increasing investment made by streamer platforms in single long-form productions (ie not episodic or series). In 2022, there were 22 single domestic UK and inward investment productions which contributed £938.8 million to the HETV spend of £4.3 billion. This spend represents a 23% increase on 2021’s £765 million spend on single productions. These productions include Blitz (dir. Steve McQueen), Napoleon (dir. Ridley Scott) and Saltburn (Emerald Fennell).

Box office takings in the UK and the Republic of Ireland totalled £945 million across 834 films, 57% more than for 2021’s £602 million earned by 438 releases, but 26% behind 2019’s total box office.

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