Investing lottery coin on pix pays off in U.K.

Org's most profitable pic is 'Beckham' which made $2.32 mil

LONDON — The U.K. Film Council has recouped half of the lottery coin it has invested in movies released since it was founded in 2000 — a strong performance for a public funding body.

Org has invested £13.7 million ($22.9 million) in 20 movies that have grossed $209.4 million worldwide, generating a return of $11.5 million.

Record matches that of predecessor British Screen Finance and reps a significant improvement over that of the Arts Council of England.

The most profitable pic is “Bend It Like Beckham,” which made $2.32 million from a lottery investment of $1.57 million. Only other pic to reach breakeven is “Gosford Park,” which has earned back its entire $3.32 million.

Fund recoups 61% of coin

The Film Council’s Premiere Fund, which backs “commercial movies,” has recouped 61% of its coin. The New Cinema Fund, which supports fresh talent without expectation of a financial return, has got back 16%.

Many more projects have received lottery coin, but have yet to be completed or released, and are therefore not included.

The Film Council has never previously released detailed recoupment figures for individual movies. It did so in response to a parliamentary question from the opposition Conservative Party about the effectiveness of lottery funding for film production.

“Without support from the lottery and the tax incentives provided by the government, these films would not have been made, our film talent would have had less opportunity to develop their skills, and millions of people in the U.K. and across the world would have lost the opportunity to enjoy exciting films,” commented Film Council chief exec John Woodward.

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