Source: Sam Taylor


UK spend for film productions for the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 was £211m, 45% lower than the £381m reported in the first three months of 2023, according to figures published by the British Film Institute (BFI).

For Q1 2024, the total number of films that started production was 22, which is 19 fewer than the 41 reported for Q1 2023 at this stage last year.

Giant, starring Pierce Brosnan and Amir El-Masry and produced by the UK’s Tea Shop Productions and US’s AGC Studios, began production in Leeds at the end of April, having re-located its shoot to the UK after the unveiling of the enhanced Independent FIlm Tax Credit in March, which could be a sign of positive strides to come in the ensuing quarters. 

“While the data registers as a substantial drop from the two previous 12-month periods, it should be noted that the strike actions by Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA between May and November 2023 led to many large-budget productions halting production for the duration,” stated the BFI’s report. “This means there is a six-month period in the rolling year where it was more difficult to start filming on higher budget productions.”

Seven were inward investment films, with a UK spend of £185m, and accounted for 88% of the total UK film spend. These included Universal Pictures’ How To Train Your Dragon and Nia DaCosta’s Hedda.

There were 12 local UK features which started production in Q1 2024 (compared to 17 that were reported as going into production in Q1 2023), including John Maclean’s Tornado, Gerard Johnson’s Odyssey and Dylan Southern’s The Thing With Feathers. UK films contributed £24m of the total spend, representing a 22% decrease from £31m of Q1 2023.

A further three features were co-productions with a UK spend of £1.6m, accounting for less than 1% of the total UK spend.

During the latest 12-month period (April 2023 to March 2024), 183 films began principal photography, with a total UK production spend of £1.2bn. This is a 25% drop from £1.6bn seen in the previous 12-month period.

The BFI noted the figure of 183 is likely to be revised upwards, owing to a lag in obtaining data.

Inward investment films in this period accounted for 75% of the total spend (£937m). Spend on UK features was £154m, or 12% of the total, down from £181m reported for the previous rolling 12-month period. Co-production films had a UK spend of £151m, which is the highest figure for the past decade.High-end TV

There are more positive indications within the figures for high-end TV (HETV). Thirty-seven HETV productions began principal photography in Q1 2024 with a total UK spend of £691m, an increase from £549m reported in the Q1 2023 official statistics release. The Q1 spend on inward investment and co-productions was £593m (86% of the total) and domestic productions accounted for £97m.

Between April 2023 and March 2024, 172 HETV productions started principal photography. This is 53 fewer than in the previous 12-month period. Total HETV production spend was £2.75bn, the third highest since the introduction of the HETV tax relief in 2013. It is 36% lower than the previous 12-month period but 9% above the pre-pandemic high of £2.53bn reported for 2019/20.

Inward investment production accounted for £2.03bn (or 74%) of HETV UK spend in 2023/24, a 45% decrease on the record high of the previous rolling year.

UK spend on local HETV productions was £686m, or 25% of total spend. This is the second highest on record, showing a 19% increase on the previous 12 months.

UK spend associated with co-production was £39m, accounting for 1% of the total. This is a 40% increase from 2022/23 and is the highest UK spend since the introduction of the tax relief in 2013.