Category Archives: Motion Picture Production

UK film production and the world

In this post I use data from the UK Film Council Research and Statistics Unit to look at the types of films produced in the UK from 2003 to 2009, and the connections between UK film production and other parts of the world. Data was collected for a total of 996 films. Documentaries were excluded from the sample. Note also that this data only includes films with a budget of £500,000 or greater, and so only provides a partial picture of UK film production.

The UK Film Council groups films into five categories: co-productions (COP), incoming co-productions (ICP), domestic features (DOM), inward productions (INW), and films that come to the UK to source visual effects (VFX). Here I only use the first four categories because data for VFX has only been collected since 2007; and I combine COP and ICP into a single category, as the frequency of the latter is low for 2003 to 2006 and zero for 2007 to 2009. The percentage of each category of film is presented in Figure 1, which also includes the data table.

Figure 1 Film production in the UK by type of film, 2003 to 2009

From Figure 1 we can see that there are two clear trends. First, the percentage of co-productions has fallen by two-thirds from 60% to 20%. Second, the percentage of domestic productions has increased by a factor of three, from approximately 20% to 60%. This change occurs in two steps, with an initial step occuring at 2005, with the final change in 2007. This coincides with the initial proposal of the cultural test for British films in 2005 and its final implementation in 2007, and cannot therefore be attributed to the global financial downturn that began in 2007/2008. The percentage of inward features appears to be immune from this change, with the notable exception of 2005 which shows a small increase.

From looking at the actual counts in Table 1 It is clear from this data that there has been an increase in domestic productions with the introduction of the cultural test, but that this has not replaced the number of films lost from the decline of co-productions, and that overall the number of films produced in the UK has decreased. This data does not of course tell us anything about the level of production spending in the UK, and this is obviously a crucial factor in considering the health of the film industry in the UK.

Table 1 Frequency of British films produced by category, 2003 to 2009

Nonetheless, this data should give cause for concern because it indicates that film production in the UK has become increasingly one-dimensional. A healthy film industry is one that can absorb shocks to the system as patterns of production in the global film industry change – but if film production becomes too concentrated into a single class of films this increases the vulnerability of the industry to a crisis. We might say that the cultural test has been successful in stimulating the British film industry, but that this has come at the expense of the film industry in the UK. (Here I make a distinction between all film production activity that takes place in the UK – the UK film industry – and that part of this production activity that is defined as culturally British – in other words, the ‘British national cinema’). A sudden drop in funding for culturally British films would plunge the UK film industry into a crisis of production, which would not be able to make up the short fall from productions originating in other parts of the world. The tax incentives available for film production in the UK are therefore of great importance, and without them we would likely return to the low numbers of production last seen in the 1980s.

It is perhaps instructive to think of the cultural industries in ecological terms: they are a system in which the companies are subject to forces of competition, predation, and extinction, and a change in one part of the system can have very significant consequences throughout the system as a whole. Biodiversity is one of the measures of the health of an ecological system, and economic diversity should also be thought of as a measure of the health of the cultural industries. The above data suggests that the economic diversity of the UK film industry has declined over the past seven years, as film production has become over-dependent on a single class of films. Disrupting the delicate equilibrium of this system could have significant consequences.

  • If a government were to announce it was disbanding the government body responsible for developing and implementing film policy and for distributing funding for film production in the UK without announcing what would take its place, thereby reducing the ability of producers to attract funding because of the uncertainty such a decision would introduce, could also have a negative impact on the level of film production.
  • A determination to reduce immigration from non-EU countries, for example, would not only reduce the number of scientists coming to the UK but could also have a negative impact on the film industry as filmmakers from outside the UK decide to make their films in more welcoming countries.

The first of these has already happened, and threatens to disrupt levels of investment in film production in the UK. The second will be introduced next year, and may further reduce the diversity of film production in the UK. Either one of these could create problems, but both together indicate a lack of foresight on the part of the coalition government.

Part of the drop in co-productions has been attributed to the fact that some films that would previously have been classed as co-productions are now able to qualify as ‘British’ under the terms of the cultural test, and thereby enjoy the full benefit of being a ‘qualifying British film.’ This argument has been put forward by John Graydon, who was involved in structuring the UK’s film tax credit system, and who notes that this represents the success of incentivising film production in the UK (Mansfield 2009). While this may certainly be a fair assessment of the status of some films, it cannot account for the full-scale of the decline in co-productions and does not explain why there has been an overall decline in the total number of productions for each year.

We can also evaluate the diversity of the UK film industry by looking at how the UK is connected to the rest of the world. In Table 2, we have the number of films that have a connection to one or more other countries that were produced in the UK, and we see the same pattern of decline noted above. This table includes films from all the UK Film Council categories.

Table 2 Films produced int he UK connected to at least one other country, 2003 to 2009

These 642 films account for a total of 870 connections to 49 different countries. The number of connections exceeds the number of films because a film may have connections to more than one country. (No film has more than five non-UK co-production partners listed, and most films are productions that involve a UK producer and a producer from one other country). A year by year breakdown by country is presented in Table 3 (NB: this table is quite large).

Table 3 Number of connections to co-producing countries for films produced in the UK, 2003 to 2009

The USA is consistently the most important source of connections to the UK with France a distant second, but where the US has remained at the top of the pile the frequency of connections to France has fallen sharply. Interestingly, India is listed as the third largest source of connections beating Germany into fourth place. ike France, Germany has gone from being a major production to partner to an occasional source of connections after 2004. This is also true of Canada, which has no connections listed for 2009 at all, as well as Spain, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Denmark. The category ‘Europe’ is not defined by the UK Film Council.

If we look at the diversity of countries connected to the UK in this way and the number of connections, we find that European countries are the most numerous at 33, accounting for a total of 528 connections (I include Turkey as a European country here). North america accounts for only 3 countries but the USA accounts for 173 connections and Canada 60 so clearly. Next comes ASia, which accounts for only four countries but a total of 75 connections. It should be noted, however, that almost all of these are accounted for by India. Notable absentees from the list of co-production partners in Table 3 are China, Japan, and South Korea. Africa is represented by four countries totalling 15 connections, of which South Africa account for two-thirds. Oceania is represented by Australia and New Zealand, providing a total of 15 connections; while the only South American countries included are Argentina and Brazil, accounting for only 3 films. Figures 2 and 3 make this information somewhat easier to appreciate.

Figure 2 Countries with connections to UK film production by region, 2003 to 2009

Figure 3 Number of connections to countries sorted by region, 2003 to 2009

Often when we talk about globalisation in the film industry we imply something that happens all over the world, but this is clearly not the case for connections between the UK film industry and elsewhere. The places to which film production in the UK is connected can be sorted into three major groups: first, there are the countries geographically closest to the UK – i.e. Europe; second, there are the countries that are historically closest to the UK – i.e. former colonies such as India, Canada, Australia, and South Africa; and, third, there is the United States, which is the dominant global power in the film industry. We can therefore say that some of the ways in which the UK film industry is globalised are through proximity, legacy, and domination by a superior market. When we turn our attention to countries that are far from the UK, that do not have a close historical/cultural relationship, and which are not major world cinema powers – in other words South America and the Far East – we find there are very few connections, if any. In this respect the UK is not that different from Poland, Malaysia, Chile, or Morocco that I have looked at elsewhere on this blog (see here and here).

Given that it is countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China that are tipped to become major global economies in the 21st century, it is imperative that the diversity of feature film production in the UK can be expanded to include links to these countries. India aside, one of the greatest challenges facing policy makers in the UK is how to go about establishing connections to these distant places in the absence of a strong historical relationship. It is difficult to see how this will be achieved whilst restricting immigration from non-EU countries.

The proposed reduction in immigration will hit Indian and American filmmakers hardest, and yet beyond Europe these are the only significant sources of inward investment and co-production partnerships for the UK film industry. Without them, the UK will become increasingly more dependent upon the EU. And yet, as I made clear above, the introduction of the cultural test for British films has dramatically reduced the number of co-productions between UK producers and their European counterparts. A further loss of diversity will only increase the vulnerability of the UK film industry to crises it has been historically ill-prepared to deal with.


Mansfield M 2009 A Report on the British Film Industry for Shadow DCMS. This report can be accessed here.

Death of the UKFC

The decision to dispose of the UK Film Council (UKFC) has been announced by the government this week, and has produced a great deal of gnashing and wailing (and some celebrating). Overall, there has disappointment at the decision – largely because it came of out of the blue, apparently with no consultation of the industry or the public. Perhaps most seriously, there does not appear to be an alternative in place before the announcement. This will create uncertainty in the film industry, leading to a drop in investment in production simply because producers will not be able to make decisions for the next couple of years.

The demise of the UKFC has been widely reported as a disaster – in the Guardian, Sunday Times, Herald Scotland, and The Scotsman – or a good thing – in The Daily Telegrpah (which has nothing to do with film policy and was always predictable) and yesterday in The Times; but the fact is that an industry that has perennially struggled to make an impact has lost its most public voice with no incoming body to take its place.

We may find ourselves back in the dark days of the 1980s when we had a Conservative government that simply was not interested in the film industry and what it could do, and which lead to a directionless and fairly dismal period in the history of British cinema.

This is a very shortsighted and ill-informed decision by the government.

But that does not make it wrong, per se.

The first thing we might wish to know is why does an industry that has a turnover of millions of pounds need a tax-payer funded body to lobby for it.

If anything, the existence of the UKFC pointed to the fundamental weakness in the British film industry – namely, that it just cannot get its act together. The demise of the UKFC might be a good thing if it prompts BAFTA, the Film Distributors Association, the Cinema Exhibitors Assocaition, PACT, Skillset, BECTU and the other unions, the regional screen agencies, and the thousands of production, distribution, and exhibition companies in the UK to work together to create a single body to promote the film industry. It would be a good thing – but of course it will never happen. Why? because there is a malaise about the film industry in the UK where very little seems possible simply because nobody can be really bothered. Will we get an industry body to promote and protect its interests? No – because everybody will the pass the buck until at some later date the government will step in. This will obviously be hailed as just what is needed to get the industry going, rather than be understood as evidence that – yet again – the industry fails to organise itself.

The British film industry needed – and needs – a body like the UK Film Council. But the fact that this body only came into existence with the support of the government is proof of the desperate state of the industry.

Consider the example of the role of the Research and Statistics Unit (RSU) at the UK Film Council.

As a consumer of the outputs of the RSU this is obviously of interest to this blog, and without the UKFC in place to disseminate information about the film industry some of the topics covered would be very difficult to do otherwise.

Nonetheless, I am not particularly a big fan of the RSU because it seemed so limited its actions. As far as I could tell, it took information produced by other bodies and produced some nice-looking graphs based on this data. Often, it took a considerable amount of time to do this – why did it take until Wednesday (at the earliest) to get the weekend box office data on-line? Despite the grand title of ‘Research and Statistics Unit,’ I am not aware of any actual research conducted by the RSU. The RSU did not do much in the way of analysis – the Statistical Yearbooks, for example, present a great deal of information but you could not say that it analysed this data to arrive at any conclusions about the economics of the British film industry.

Do not get me wrong – collecting, collating, and disseminating were (and are) important functions, and the RSU was an improvement on what had gone before. The Statistical Yearbooks are much better than the old BFI Film and Television Handbooks. But it all seems to lack ambition.

We have to ask some important questions about the future of the RSU:

1. What will happen to the outputs of the RSU that are currently available?

The RSU website provides a range of information from box office grosses, to the Statistical Yearbooks, to production data, and so on. Going back to the summer of 2001, we can find much information that could be used far better by film scholars but which may soon disappear. What provision has the government made to ensure that this data remains available after the UKFC has been shut down? Perhaps this information could be transferred to the BFI’s website where it can be made freely available. (This is after all public data). When the Thatcher government (rightly) disposed of the Eady Levy they simply stopped collecting any data on the film industry, so that we have gaps in the data from May 1985 to December 1986. This cannot be allowed to happen again or we will lose a whole decade from the historical record.

This does, of course, raise issues about the purpose of archives in a digital age. I have worries that editions of the Statistical Yearbook will continue to be available in the British Library, the Library of the House of Commons, the DCMS (and its successors), and maybe even university libraries. But what about the production data posted on the RSU website? Or the box office data? Who will archive this information?

2. Who will take over from the UK Film Council in collecting and disseminating information on the British film industry?

One solution that I am sure many will propose is the BFI, which has performed a similar role in the past. However, I think this is a poor solution to the problem for three reasons: (1) the BFI did not necessarily do a good job on gathering and disseminating industry data in the past, and the RSU improved on it here; (2) the BFI is not an institution geared towards the industry – its focus is educational and should remain so; and, (3) the film industry, as noted above, is perfectly capable of collecting and distrbuting data itself and should not be taxpayer-funded.

Above I suggested that the BFI host the box-office data currently availble from the UKFC and I think this is broadly compatible with its educational mission – that by preserving this information it is fulfilling one of its key educational functions.

The obvious answer is for an industry directed body to gather and make available data on the UK film industry. Indeed, the industry cannot afford to not do this – making a case to government for continuing tax-relief and/or subsidies will require detailed argument that can empirically justify these policies.

But it is precisely here that the industry falls down. I have complained elsewhere on this blog about the standard of statistical information at the websites of the Film Distributors Association  (FDA – here) and the Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA – here). These are supposedly major industry organisations that have a specific role in promoting cinema-going in the UK, but the so-called ‘data banks’ of both are pathetic. There is very little usable information and it lacks any depth. The availability of historical data is particularly poor – in some cases going back only as far as 2004. The choice of data is esoteric – the FDA website lists the top 6 films on UK television in 2008, but does not give any data for any other years and why only the top 6? Much of what is available is out of date – the FDA will tell you about cinema-going in Europe in 2006, but nothing else. If you want to see just how pathetic this data is then look here.

The CEA website is generally better than that of the FDA, and is broadly speaking much more up-to-date, but if you want to know about the box office performance of films then it is worse than the RSU. Latest weekend box office figures are only available for the top 15 films. Why only the top 15? Even the RSU made available data for British films on release outside the top 15 and other openers. Why can we not have a complete list of the box office data for every film on general release in the UK? Why can we not have much more varied and detailed data? Why can we not have the daily box office data?

Why has the film industry failed to produce high quality and reliable information? The answer is simple – the RSU took on that role for it so no one had to try. Here the existence of the UK Film Council clearly had a negative impact on the industry.

Of course, an objection to be raised here is that it is expensive to collect and disseminate industry information. And, dear god, is it expensive – the latest report on cinema-going in the UK and Ireland published by Dodona Research in April 2010 will cost you £775. (See here for Dodona’s website). An annual subscription to Screen Digest is £575 (+VAT). (Do not even consider buying any of Screen Digest’s research reports if you don’t have a very large overdraft facility).

If we left it up to the industry then would we not be left in the situation where the valuable data collected remains behind a paywall where no one can get at it? Would this not impoverish our knowledge to the extent that we might as well not bother studying the film industry of the UK –  we cannot afford the data even if it exists, so why try?

The answer to this objection is to look here at the website of Box Office Mojo (which is owned by the Internet Movie Database) . This website makes detailed analysis of the American film industry available for free. There is a range of data available and there is great depth to the data. There is analysis, and the data is broken down into useful categories (genres, stars, franchises, etc). There is great historical coverage. The vast majority of this data is not behind a paywall, though if you do register you get access to many useful features and it will only cost you only $89 per year.

Why do we not have something similar in the UK?

Partly because the RSU usurped the industry in fulfilling this role – why would you set up a website like Box Office Mojo funded by advertisers and subscribers, if the government will do it anyway?

But a major part is also the attitude of the British to information. In the UK, information must be controlled; and it has been paid for, then information is treated in a  very proprietory manner. In contrast, Americans take a much more militant attitude to free speech and are very firmly of the opinion that information should be in the public realm.

With the demise of the UK Film Council and the RSU, we may see the industry improve its performance in this area as no one is there to do the work for it. It is even possible that a private company  – like Box Office Mojo – steps into to fulfil this role now that it could make a profit in the absence of the RSU. The problem of the public availability of this information will not be solved until there is a fundamental change in the attitude of the industry in the UK to how it goes about doing this.

The first of these changes is possible but unlikely. The second will take a miracle.

Research on the British film industry

This week a collection of works on the British film industry from an economic perspective. It is easy to find articles by economists on the Hollywood film industry, but there appears to much less available if you want to look at the film industry in the UK. What analysis of filmmaking in the UK there is rarely makes it into film studies publications, and so hopefully this list will get people to cross over and to take ideas and data from one arena into the other. It is worth taking a moment to reflect for a moment that so much research is focused on the analysis of film production, which does not make much sense in a distribution-led industry. This is also a problem for film policy in the UK, which focuses almost exclusively on production measures (tax incentives, subsidies for filmmakers) without addressing the issue of distribution. But then for policy makers, like film scholars, production is sexy and distribution isn’t.

As ever, the version available on line may be a pre-print of a finished article so make sure you check before citing anything.

First, Robin MacPherson at Napier University has recently made his latest research available here. (This can also apparently be accessed through Napier’s research respository, but it didn’t work when I tried it).

MacPherson R 2010 Is bigger better? Film success in small countries – the case of Scotland, Ireland and Denmark.


Small European countries with low levels of film production might be expected to suffer from diseconomies of scale and other structural disadvantages that would tend to produce a lower ratio of ‘hits’ to ‘flops’ than larger countries. Analysis of Scottish, Irish and Danish data suggests that, despite significantly different levels of production, the distribution of ‘hits’ is in fact very similar and consistent with the Paretian distribution of audiences and revenues in major markets such as the United States and others. The skewed distribution of cinema audiences in Scotland, Ireland and Denmark appears to confirm the ‘scale independent’ importance of a small number of unpredictable highperforming ‘outliers’ in determining total and average audience/revenues. Analysis of overall production levels and aggregate audience share for domestic films in several small countries reveals a correlation that emerges once production exceeds a critical level. A predictive model of how revenues are distributed as production levels increase is tested. The implications of a consistent pattern of film success for film funding policy in small countries are discussed and avenues for further research suggested.

Blair H 2003 Winning and losing in flexible labour markets: the formation and operation of networks of interdependence in the UK film industry, Sociology 37 (4): 677-694.

Elliot C and Simmons R 2008 Determinants of UK box office success: the impact of quality signals, Review of Industrial Organisation, 33 (2): 93-111.

This paper analyses the roles of various quality signals in the demand for cinema attendance in the United Kingdom. Estimation of a three-stage least squares model with data for 527 films released in the United Kingdom shows that the impacts of advertising and critical reviews on box office revenues vary both in channels and magnitudes of impact. Our model treats total advertising as endogenous, alongside the number of opening screens and total box office revenues, while critical reviews are considered exogenous. Our results show that total advertising affects total box office revenue while responding endogenously to critical reviews.

Gornostaeva G 2008 The film and television industry in London’s suburbs: lifestyle of the rich or losers’ retreat?, Creative Industries Journal 1 (1): 47-71.

Nachum L and Keeble D 1999 A Marshallian approach to the eclectic paradigm of foreign investment: the clustering of film TNCS in central London, ESRC Centre for Business Research, Working Paper 119. (This seems to take a long time to download, and being impatient I right-clicked and and downloaded the file using ‘Save link as …’ This may also be the case for other papers from the ESRC centre at Cambridge).

Nachum L and Keeble D 2000 Foreign and indigenous firms in the media cluster of central London, ESRC Centre for Business Research, Working Paper 154.

Pratt AC 2007 ‘Imagination can be a damned curse in this country:’ material geographies of filmmaking and the rural, in R Fish (ed.) Cinematic Countrysides. Manchester: Manchester University Press: 127-46.

Pratten S and Deakin S 1999 Competitiveness policy and economic organisation: the case of the British film industry, ESRC Centre for Business Research, Working Paper 127.

Tirtaine C 2007 Évolution des relations entre État et cinéma au Royaume-Uni (1979-2005), Revue LISA/LISA e-journal 5 (1): (NB: this article is in French).

A government can adopt two different stances regarding its domestic film industry. It may choose to support and protect it because of its cultural remit – or it may treat it like any other industry and adopt a laissez-faire attitude and let market forces determine its fate. The latter stance was adopted by the Thatcher government, which abolished the support system and protectionist measures from which British film had benefited for decades and granted it only few subsidies. The government severed almost all the existing links between the film industry and the State. These non-interventionist policies undoubtedly contributed to the dramatic drop in the number of British films produced and the chronic difficulties which the film industry experienced in the 1980s. The relationships between the government and the film industry have since changed considerably. The creation of the Film Council and the existence of a Film Minister within the government have definitely contributed to reinstating a dialogue between the industry and the government. State support in favour of film has increased dramatically in the past decade, with the introduction of tax incentives and new subsidies, which mostly derive from National Lottery revenues. The State’s investment in film is thus mainly indirect and it is clear that the government, by supporting British cinema, has in mind not only its contribution to the country’s culture but also to its economy. By changing the legal definition of a British film in order to entice into the UK foreign investors who want to benefit from attractive tax incentives, the government triggered an increase in the number of co-productions and foreign films shot in the UK – at the risk of undermining the identity of British cinema, and thus, the country’s culture.

Finally, to turn to Hollywood W.D. Walls’ list of publications of his research, much of it co-authoured with Andy De Vany and most of it freely available, can be accessed here, and is an example of an economic approach to distribution that is sadly lacking when we turn to British cinema.

Pareto and the UK Box Office

Studies on the box office gross of movies have indicated that, for the top grossing Hollywood movies, a power law provides a good fit of the data for the total gross of a movie with an exponent of β ~ -0.5, where β = 1/α and α is the exponent of a Pareto distribution (and is, therefore, ~ 2) (Sinha and Pan 2005, 2006).Similar results are also cited for the opening weekend gross for movies. I have not been able to find an equivalent study of British films, so in this post I fit a  power curve to the total box office gross for the top 20 films in the UK and the Republic of Ireland from 2002 to 2008, inclusive. The data used is from the the statistical yearbooks produced by the UK Film Council.

Table 1 lists the results, showing the number one ranked film in each year and its total gross, β and a 95% confidence interval, and the coefficient of determination as a measure of the goodness-of-fit of the power curve to the data. The curves for each year are presented in Figures 1 through 7.

Table 1 Power regression data for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2002 to 2008

From Table 1 we can see that the value for β tends to be approximately -0.6, giving an exponent for a Pareto distribution of ~ 1.66. The difference from the figure of -0.5 noted above may be attributed in part to the use of only the top 20 films in this data, where other studies have used larger sample sizes. It may also reflect a difference between the performance of films at the US box office and in the UK and Ireland, with a larger share of the box office gained by a smaller group of films. For 2008, β = -0.74, and this suggests that the top four films (Mamma Mia! [£69.17m], Quantum of Solace [£51.07m], The Dark Knight [£48.82m], and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull [£40.27m]) gained a larger market share than is typical in the UK. Combined, these four films 45.1% of the total box office for the top 20 films in this year, with the fifth-ranked film (Sex and the City [£26.43m]) grossing nearly £15 million less than the fourth-ranked film.There is also another steep drop off that occurs with the shift from the eleventh-ranked film (Iron Man [£17.42m]) and the twelfth-ranked film (Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian [£11.79m]). These breaks can be clearly seen in Figure 7. While other years have a single film or a group of films that dominate, the other top 20 films have a much more even distribution.for example, the proportion of the box office gross secured by the top four films for the other six years included here ranges from a minimum 35.1% in 2007 to 41.3% in 2006, but the values of β all indicate much more even distributions and there are no sudden drops in the distributions of the sort we see in Figure 7.

It will be interesting to see what value β will take when the next edition of the UK Film Council Statistical Yearbook is published in July 2010. Will it return to ~ -0.6, indicating that 2008 was an unusual year for the UK box office, or if there is a new trend emerging reflecting the changing choices for audiences? One possibility for the change in audience behaviour is the impact of the recession, with audiences rationing the number of times they go to the cinema thereby creating tiers within the top 20 of films they really wanted to see (the top four), and films they were less willing to pay to watch (5-11 and 12-20). If this is a reasonable explanation of how audiences behave when times are hard then we should see a similar distribution for 2009.

Figure 1 Power regression for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2002 (β = -0.62)

Figure 2 Power regression for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2003 (β = -0.55)

Figure 3 Power regression for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2004 (β = -0.62)

Figure 4 Power regression for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2005 (β = -0.61)

Figure 5 Power regression for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2006 (β = -0.61)

Figure 6 Power regression for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2007 (β = -0.52)

Figure 7 Power regression for the top 20 films at the UK box office in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2008 (β = -0.74)


Sinha S and Pan RK 2005 Blockbusters, bombs and sleepers: the income distribution of movies, in A Chatterjee, BK Chakrabarti, and S Yarlagadda (eds.) Econophysics of Wealth Distributions. Milan: Springer: 43-47. (here)

Sinha S and Pan RK 2006 How a “hit” is born: the emergence of popularity from the dynamics of collective choice, in BK Chakrabarti, A Chakraborti, and A Chatterjee (eds.) Econophysics and Sociophysics: Trends and Perspectives. Berlin: Wiley: 417-447. (here)

The geographies of cinema

This week some interesting papers on the subject of the geography of cinema, which covers a wide range of topic from the political economy of film industries to the representation of space in cinema. As ever, this list is not comprehensive, but has a selection of interesting papers I have come across.

For each paper I give the reference of the published version, but the version linked to may be a pre-print, a web version, working paper, or a technical report and so page references, formatting, etc., may be different and this should be kept in mind if you want to quote from this research. Most of the files are pdfs.

You can access my papers on British film and geography here (on Manchester in 24 Hour Party People) and here (on London in Notting Hill and South West 9). Other references are given on the page about me.

Alanen A 2008 The structure of Finnish film production at the enterprise level, Tieto & Trendit Journal of Statistics Finland 3/2008.

Alanen A 2008 In Hollywood or in the backwood?, Tieto & Trendit Journal of Statistics Finland 5/2008.

Arrowsmith C, Verhoeven D, and Davidson A (n.d.) A method for detecting geographical cinema circuits using Markov Chains.

Curti GH 2008 The ghost in the city and a landscape of life: a reading of difference in Shirow and Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell, Environment and Planning D 28: 87-106.

Dell’agnese E 2005 The US–Mexico border in American movies: a political geography perspective, Geopolitics 10: 204-221.

Escher A 2006 The geography of cinema – a cinematic world, Erdkunde 60 (4): 307-314.

Eliashberg J, Elberse A, and Leendera MAAM (2006) The motion picture industry: critical issues in practice,current research, and new research directions, Marketing Science 25 (6): 638-661. [The link to this article appears to have been broken, and so it has been removed].

Falicov TL 2002 Film policy under MERCOSUR: the case of Uruguay, Canadian Journal of Communication 27 (1).

Gamir A and Manuel C 2007 Cinema and geography: geographic space, landscape and territory in the film industry, Boletin de la asociacion de geografos españoles 45: 407-410.

Lorenzen M 2008 Creativity at Work: On the Globalization of the Film Industry, Creative Encounters Working Papers 8.

Lukinbeal C 2002 Teaching historical geographies of American film production, Journal of Geography 101: 250-260.

Lukinbeal C 2004 The map that precedes the territory: an introduction to essays in cinematic geography, GeoJournal 59 (4): 247-251.

Lukinbeal C 2005 Cinematic landscapes, Journal of Cultural Geography 23 (1): 3-22.

Lukinbeal C 2006 Runaway Hollywood: Cold Mountain, Romania, Erkunde 60 (4): 337-345.

Lukinbeal C and Zimmermann S 2006 Film geography: a new subfield, Erkunde 60 (4): 315-326.

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