British box office record set for UK films

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

The UK Film Council has said British films claimed a record one-third share of UK cinema takings last year.

The council has also revealed that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was Britain's top-grossing film in 2005 after taking £435m ($808m) at the Box Office worldwide. It was one of eight British films to be included in the top 20 list of the world's biggest grossing movies. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Batman Begins, Kingdom of Heaven, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Nanny McPhee and Pride and Prejudice took £1.8bn ($3.3) in total globally and were seen by 600 million people.

John Woodward, the chief executive officer of the UK Film Council, said: "The figures show that the public love British films and 2005 was a great year for British films at the cinema with the largest slice of Box Office takings since records began."

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell|, who has exposed tax incentives aimed at luring filmmakers to the UK, said: "Harry Potter, Nanny McPhee and Willy Wonka have all been hits at home and abroad - helping us achieve great success at the Box Office. I hope that next year, buoyed by the new tax incentive, the UK film industry will be in even better health."

The amount of British people viewing foreign language films also increased. More than 200 foreign language films in 32 different languages were shown at cinemas across the UK. Downfall, a German-produced movie depicting the final days of Adolf Hitler, was the most popular, according to the council.

Movies are classed as being UK-made if they are filmed in the country, star UK personalities, and invest money in the UK or on British staff and services.