According to the UK Film Distributors’ Association yearbook, media advertising spend decreased in 2015.


The media advertising spend of UK film distributors dropped 7.9% last year, according to Nielsen data presented in the UK Film Distributors’ Association yearbook.

Across all forms of media (television, outdoor, press, radio), spend was $247.8m (£173.7m) in 2015, down from $269.1m (£188.6m) in 2014, and $275.9m (£193.4m) in 2013.

Radio was the only medium to see an increase in spend, up to $9m (£6.3m) in 2015, the highest number since 2012.

A further category that includes online spend was only $1.2m (£828,534) in 2015, down from $6.7m ($4.7m) three years ago, but the FDA cautioned that the figure was not representative of online spend due to the complexity of data-gathering.

October saw the highest media spend when $24.4m (£17.2m) was spent across 97 releases (the busiest month of the year) including Spectre, Hotel Transylvania 2 and Macbeth.

Total distributor spend on releases is estimated to be consistent with last year’s estimate of $499.3m (£350m).

2015 was a bumper year at the box office, with receipts topping a record $1.3bn, up 15.5% on 2014. Admissions hit 171.9m, up 9.2% on 2014.

There were also a record number of films theatrically released in the territory: 853, up from 838 in 2014 and 794 in 2013.

With those figures in mind, one exhibition executive Screen spoke to suggested the potential drop in advertising could have been a result of the market-dominating blockbusters such as Spectre or Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had large in-built audiences already guaranteed.

3D drop

Despite the record number of releases, and the dominance of blockbusters, the number of 3D films dipped in 2015.

There were 32 releases in the 3D format (including IMAX 3D) throughout the year, down from 55 in 2014 and 50 in 2013.

A total of $227.5m (£159.3m) was generated by 3D releases in 2015, 12.2% of the overall box office, down from $206.5m (£144.6m, 14%) in 2014, and significantly below the average over the last five years of $278m (£195m).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the top 3D release of the year ahead of Jurassic World and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, generating more than $42.8m (£30m) of its revenue from 3D screenings.

In his introductory remarks for the yearbook, FDA president Lord Puttnam heralded the “splendidly robust year” at the UK box office, adding that “this resilience is at least in part due to the distribution industry working flat-out to deliver more new titles than ever to UK cinemas”.