Inward investment in UK film production was up to record levels in 2010, according to figures published by the UK Film Council today; domestic production and co-productions on the decrease.

As a result of films such as Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Sherlock Holmes 2 shooting in the UK last year, inward investment levels for 2010 were up 15%, to $1.5bn (£928.9m) from $1.3bn (£810.7m) in 2009.  

The total UK production spend in 2010 was $1.8bn (£1.15bn) on 119 films, up on $1.7bn (£1.017bn) in 2009, although there were more films made (144) in 2009, according to the report.

But the figures also showed an 11% drop in the number of domestic UK films made in 2010 as opposed to 2009 (there were 72 homegrown films made in 2010), with the expenditure on those films, $276m (£174m), amounting to a 22% drop on 2009. UK films shooting in 2010 included Horrid Henry,Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Johnny English Reborn, Wuthering Heights and The Deep Blue Sea.

Continuing the downward trend of the last few years, the number of UK co-productions with other countries also dropped from 26 in 2009 to 19 in 2010, although the spend on these films, $83m (£52m), represents a 45% increase on 2009, according to the figures.

Box office figures increased by 2% on 2009, breaking through the £1 billion barrier for the second year running, with the highest grossing film of 2010 being Toy Story 3, followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, Alice in Wonderland and Inception.

The UKFC said that “British” films accounted for 22.6% of ticket sales in the UK in 2010, although under the UKFC’s definition this includes films funded by US studios such as Harry Potter. Only 5.5% of the market share came from independent British films, with Streetdance 3D faring the best, taking £11.6m at the UK box office.

Tim Cagney, managing director of the UK Film Council, said: “The figures show how difficult it is to raise finance for making independent British films and, with four of the top ten grossing UK independent films funded by the UK Film Council, the ongoing value of public investment in new British films and talent.”