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UK box office hit £1 billion for first time ever in 2011

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Story by Jack Foley

UK CINEMA box office receipts passed the £1 billion mark for the first time last year, according to figures released by the British Film Institute (BFI).

Buoyed by the Oscar-winning success of The King’s Speech as well as the final Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the final figure for 2011 receipts was £1.04bn.

Harry Potter was the highest grossing movie of the year with takings of £73 million but The King’s Speech came second with £45.7 million, closely followed by surprise summer hit The Inbetweeners Movie which took a cool £45 million.

In all, admissions rose 1.4% from 2010 with 171.6 million tickets sold.

The BFI’s figures also show that independent British film enjoyed its best year in terms of market share with 13.5%, while market share for all British films at the UK box office, including independents and those shot in the UK but financed from abroad, reached 36.2%, up from 24.0% in 2010.

Eight of the top 20 grossing films of the year were made in the UK.

Total investment in UK-based film production reached a record £1.26 billion in 2011, a small rise from £1.25bn the year before, but there was a drop in the total number of UK films produced – only 169 compared to 2010’s 262.

Analysing the figures, the BFI’s Amanda Nevill said: “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 and continue to be an important contributor to the UK economy.”

The top 10 higest grossing films of 2011 in UK Cinemas were…

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – £73.1m
2) The King’s Speech – £45.7m
3) The Inbetweeners Movie – £45m
4) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – £32.9m
5) The Hangover 2 – £32.8m
6) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 – £30.7m
7) Transformers: Dark of the Moon – £28.1m
8) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – £23.1m
9) Bridesmaids – £23m
10) Arthur Christmas – £20.8m