Independent film producers are suffering more during the economic downturn than their counterparts in TV and radio, according to new data from analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report, which examines the number of corporate insolvencies across England and Wales over the second quarter of 2009, shows that 59 small film companies have gone out of business over the past 18 months. The lowest point – to date – came during last winter when 13 companies collapsed. It is reported to have included companies such as 525 Productions and Grass Roots Films.

The research comes as PwC also released a report looking at the filmed entertainment market across the world, it showed that the UK is the largest market for film across Europe, the Middle East and Africa bringing in $6.5bn last year. It is expected to rise to $6.6bn over 2009. Cinema attendance is also up thanks to a second consecutive rainy summer with an estimated 166 million admissions for this year. The expansion of digital and 3D screens and original content made for them, including Monsters Vs Aliens and 3D remakes of classics such as Toy Story, is also expected to drive future cinema-going.

In terms of production, the report says the UK Film Council Development is investing more than $3.7m (£2m) in local productions to support the market but adds that many private investors and hedge funds have been forced to reduce their investment in film as the world economy has declined.

During previous downturns, the number of films made has been reduced due to difficulty with financing, although cinema admissions remain high as people seek cheaper entertainment. The report notes that the major US studios have been forced to cut their productions schedules back due to problems with financing and says this could have a “modest adverse effect” on admissions, although it adds this could also benefit the market by reducing fragmentation.