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U.K. production spend rises 8%

Inward investment up 15% at $1.49 billion

Investment in U.K. film production rose 8% to a record £1.15 billion ($1.85 billion) last year, according to figures published Thursday by the U.K. Film Council.

However, the number of pics produced in Blighty fell to 119 from 144 in 2009.

Some of the high-profile pics included “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “War Horse” and “Sherlock Holmes 2.”

Investment in U.K. production by international companies, including the Hollywood majors, hit a record high of $1.49 billion from 28 films, 15% higher than 2009’s $1.3 billion from 35 pics. These included “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Hugo Cabret.”

There were 72 locally produced films, including “Horrid Henry,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” “Johnny English Reborn” and “Wuthering Heights,” down 11% on 2009.

The $278 million spent making those pics was 22% down on the previous year.

The number of U.K. co-productions with other countries dropped to 19 from 26 in 2009 but spend was up 45% at $83.2 million. Co-productions included “Will,” “Africa United” and “Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie.”

U.K.-Ireland B.O. last year was $1.72 billion, up 2%, with British films — which included U.K.-U.S. pics “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” and “Inception” — accounting for 22.6% of that figure, up from 16.7% in 2009.

Brit indies took a 5.5% share, led by “Streetdance 3D,” which earned $18.6 million.Twenty-eight 3D films were released in 2010, grossing $379 million for a 24% market share, up from 16% in 2009.

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