An Annual Report: UK Film & HETV Industry in 2023

A new report has just been launched by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit, into film and high-end television (HETV) production spend in the UK. In a year when Film and HETV production was impacted globally by the Hollywood strikes, production in the United Kingdom continued to earn billions for the UK economy. With ‘Barbie’ as the biggest film of 2023, filmed mostly at the UK’s popular Leavesden Studios and ‘The Great Escaper’ leading the UK independent chart. The combined investment in 2023 was £4.23 billion, a 32% decrease from 2022 but nearly equal to pre-pandemic levels.

HETV episodes accounted for the majority of the £4.23 billion production budget, with £2.87 billion (68%), followed by feature film production, which accounted for £1.36 billion (32%). Inward investment and co-production of films and HETV series resulted in a combined production spend of £3.31 billion, accounting for 78% of the total. This highlights the UK’s position as a global leader in film and TV production.

Of the total £2.87 billion spend on 187 HETV productions in 2023:

  • inward investment shows contributed £2.07 billion (72% of total HETV spend), a 43% decrease on 2022;
  • domestic UK shows accounted for £766 million (27% of total HETV spend), a 21% increase on 2022; and
  • co-production spend was £38.9 million (1.4% of total spend), a 7% increase on 2022.

Of the total £1.36 billion spend on 207 film productions in 2023:

  • inward investment films contributed £1.04 billion (77% of total film spend), a 40% decrease on 2022);
  • domestic UK films accounted for £150.2 million (just over 11% of total film spend) a 13% decrease on 2022); and
  • co-production spend accounted for £162.8 million (just over 12% of total film spend), more than two and a half times spend in 2022).

Ben Roberts, the BFI’s Chief Executive said, The production and box office figures that we have published today reflect the different dynamics at play across our sector. Whilst a level of film and high-end television production in the UK was disrupted by strikes in 2024, our industry continues to contribute billions to the UK economy and support a huge range of jobs. At the same time, audiences showed up in record numbers for must-see movies including Barbie, Oppenheimer and Wonka all of which exemplify the talent and artistry of so many UK creatives. And despite notable recent successes such as The Great Escaper, Rye Lane, Scrapper, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Polite Society, we cannot ignore that the statistics also highlight concerns for lower budget UK films, increasingly challenged in securing finance and visibility. Our work and commitment in this area continues.

You can read the in-depth guide on the BFI’s website here.

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