By MCN Editor


London — 24 March 2011. In his role as President of the UK trade body, Film Distributors’ Association (FDA), Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE today gave a keynote speech in which he called for the distribution of cinema releases to be placed at the heart of planning for a new UK film policy. Speaking in London’s Leicester Square to an audience of film industry members, press and politicians, Lord Puttnam said:

“By acquiring, positioning, licensing, marketing and publicising films, distributors are the point at which movies connect with their audience, the largest possible audience that can be identified and motivated in each individual case. Films reach their audiences by professional design, not purely by accident or lucky chance. And it’s only when they reach their audience that they achieve their extraordinary potential to seize people’s consciousness – to amuse, amaze and excite. The global demand for film, including British films, has never been greater. But because all intellectual property markets are ‘content-led’, any forward-looking film policy in the digital age must adopt demand-side, as well as supply-side, strategies.”

Having discussed some digital challenges and opportunities affecting UK media, Lord Puttnam observed that however the release of movies is remodelled across myriad platforms, the cinema launch pad remains distinct and special, for audiences and filmmakers alike: “The cinema is where directors and actors aspire to have their work seen; in fact it’s where they make it to be seen, and there’s no sign of that changing one bit.”

FDA publications

At today’s event Lord Puttnam also launched two new publications:

  • The FDA Yearbook 2011, which contains an array of data on the last 12 months cinemagoing, and the £300 million investment by film distributors to launch 573 feature films for UK cinema audiences in 2010 – a new record number in a single year.
  • A pack for primary schools to help teachers convey the value of creativity in the real world to 8–12 year-olds. Called Maths + Movies, the resource was commissioned by FDA from Film Education. To be supplied free of charge to schools on request, the resource comprises a CD-ROM and teacher’s notes. It uses film box-office numbers to teach and practice skills in arithmetic. The challenges invite young learners to consider the potential consequences of taking a film without paying for it.

The full text of Lord Puttnam’s speech, together with samples of the two new publications launched today, are available from FDA.

Encouraging signs for cinema in 2011

Cinemagoing in the UK for January and February 2011 was up by an impressive 10.1% year-on-year compared to 2010 – 32.46 million admissions were recorded during the first two months of 2011. This is partly due to the tremendous theatrical success of The King’s Speech, and a very buoyant half term period, Valentine’s weekend and an array of awards titles that captured audience appetites. February 2011 on its own notched up the highest ever UK box office takings on record for the month with £112.1m in cinema receipts.

UK cinema snapshot 2010

Some highlights extracted from the FDA Yearbook 2011:

§  No matter what the economic climate, cinema continues to offers the ultimate escape. One in seven British adults go to the cinema at least once a month.

§  UK box-office receipts topped £1 billion in 2010, an all-time high. 3D accounted for £237.9m – more than a fifth of the total box-office. Distributors’ support of digital switch-over is gathering pace in UK cinemas. Already around 1,500 screens are digital, nearly half of the total, and most of those are 3D-enabled.

§  The number of feature films released, which has exceeded 500 a year in each of the last five years, leapt higher than ever to 573, an average of 11 openings each week, all competing for available screens, media space and audience time and money.

§  Hot summer: 24% of the year’s admissions took place in July and August – by far the busiest months – led by Toy Story 3, Inception, Shrek Forever After, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Karate Kid. In those two months alone, the box-office exceeded a quarter of a billion pounds (£268.9 million), driven by 83 new releases, while admissions (40.5 million) were equivalent to two-thirds of the population.

§  136 films took more than £1m at the box-office. 55 films grossed over £5m, of which the top 27 grossed over £10m. The seven highest-grossing releases of 2010, led by Toy Story 3, earned places in the UK’s all-time top 100 box-office hits.

§  Overall admissions dipped slightly below 2009’s total to 169.25m, the first decline in four years, yet still an average of 3.25m per week. Cinemagoing pre-Christmas, like other retail activities, was hampered by the Arctic weather conditions: December 2010 had the lowest admissions for any December since 2000. At the end of November, the moving annual total of admissions was up 2.3% year-on-year.

The following newly published charts are extracted from the FDA Yearbook 2011 and may be reproduced by the media when credited to “FDA Yearbook/Rentrak”:

Top 20 films of the decade 2001 – 2010

This chart is peppered with franchises based on British stories, such as Harry Potter, James Bond, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. Many titles, including Mamma Mia! and The Dark Knight, had British cast and crew members fulfilling key creative roles. All these British titles have been hits worldwide, not just in the UK.


UK cinema

release date

Total UK cinema


to 31 Dec 2010

1 Avatar 18 Dec 2009 £94,025,632
1 Toy Story 3 23 July 2010 £73,791,346
2 Mamma Mia! The Movie 10 July 2008 £69,166,922
3 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 16 Nov 2001 £66,096,060
4 The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring 21 Dec 2001 £63,009,288
5 The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 19 Dec 2003 £61,062,348
6 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 20 Dec 2002 £57,600,094
7 Casino Royale 16 Nov 2006 £55,600,009
8 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 15 Nov 2002 £54,780,731
9 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest 7 July 2006 £52,515,550
10 Quantum of Solace 31 Oct 2008 £51,216,877
11 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 17 July 2009 £50,723,508
12 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 19 Nov 2010 £50,640,371 *
13 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 13 July 2007 £49,874,480
14 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 18 Nov 2005 £49,196,228
15 The Dark Knight 25 July 2008 £49,074,220
16 Shrek 2 2 July 2004 £48,243,628
17 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 4 June 2004 £46,083,704
18 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 8 Dec 2005 £44,403,774
19 Alice in Wonderland 5 March 2010 £42,536,343
20 Bridget Jones’s Diary 13 April 2001 £42,007,008

Top 10 weeks in UK cinemas 2010

This chart shows the enduring popularity of the cinema experience during holiday periods

Play week in cinemas

Friday – Thursday

Total week’s


Top film on UK release
1 23 – 29 July 2010 £47,159,521 Toy Story 3

(first full week of release)

2 2 – 8 April 2010 (Easter) £42,364,315 Clash of the Titans

(first week of release)

3 30 July – 5 August 2010 £38,882,576 Toy Story 3

(second full week of release)

4 12 – 18 February 2010 £35,531,039 Valentine’s Day

(first week of release)

5 9 – 15 July 2010 £33,114,074 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

(first week of release)

6 19 – 25 November 2010 £31,467,005 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

(first week of release)

7 6 – 12 August 2010 £31,337,272 Toy Story 3

(third full week of release)

8 31 December 2010 –

6 January 2011

£29,297,174 Gulliver’s Travels

(first week of release)

9 22 – 28 October 2010


£28,804,857 Paranormal Activity 2

(first week of release)

10 28 May – 3 June 2010


£28,682,239 Sex and the City 2

(first week of release)

Cinemagoing by nation 2010

Nation Gross box-office Admissions

Scotland £88,327,671

(+ 5.3% vs. 2009)

16.0m 5.19m
Northern Ireland £26,202,618

(-1.4% vs. 2009)

4.3m 1.79m
England & Wales

Breakdown in table below


(+ 6.7% vs. 2009)

148.95m 54.80m

UK total


(+ 6.4% vs. 2009)



Cinemagoing by region of England & Wales 2010

English TV region Gross box-office Admissions



of which the West End



Central  (East + West Midlands) £130,667,856 23.95m
Granada £100,612,883 17.95m
South £92,982,618 15.5m
Yorkshire £74,671,035 14.4m
Wales/West  (Harlech) £67,556,131 11.5m
Anglia £64,638,153 11.1m
Tyne Tees £37,685,912 6.7m
Westward  (South-West) £21,789,099 3.95m
Border £6,871,386 1.3m

Total England/Wales



London cinema highlights in 2010 (figures published for the first time)

§  The London TV region accounted for 29.2% of the total of UK cinema box-office in 2010 with £294.2m in receipts compared to £271.4m in 2009, which is annual increase of 8% in the regions takings.

§  London’s West End alone accounts for 10% of English’s cinema box office and just over 9% of the entire UK market. The West End is the UK’s fifth highest grossing region, which saw a 2.6% rise in cinema ticket sales from £87.4m in 2009 to £92.2m in 2010 – representing a 5.5% increase on the previous year.

§  While the overall UK population continues gradually to age, London’s diverse population is relatively young: 43.5% of the capital’s population is aged 20–44, compared with only 34.6% of the England population as a whole.

§  In February 2011, the London TV region spent around £30m at the cinema box office, the highest ever recorded for the second month of the year.


Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Anguilla is like a dream.
    If you never been to Anguilla, it is time to make that change.
    Anguilla is a lot more then beaches and hotels and villas.
    I love Anguilla.
    I can not wait to get back to Anguilla.
    I wish I cound stay in Anguilla all year.
    Anguilla is a great place to vist and the worst place to leave.
    Why can I not find more info on Anguilla.
    I need a trip to Anguilla.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon