It’s great to hear that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, reckons the UK film industry should be given more lottery cash. Although his desire to see film makers produce more mainstream and cost-effective movies is a bit more contentious.
According to Arts Minister Ed Vaizey, the industry was “still not as profitable as it should be for British film-makers”. However, £1bn of production profits were brought in by the UK film industry from overseas. The highest grossing film last year was The King’s Speech which won four Oscars. Between January 2011 and October 2011, British films stayed at the top of the box office charts for a total of 20 weeks.
So it seems like the UK film industry hasn’t been doing so badly after all. Here are the top 10 grossing UK films, with repetitions and sequels cut out, which are sure to make you feel proud to be British!
1. Mamma Mia! (2008) This family fun musical, starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan, topped the UK box office in 2008 with a staggering £69,066,035m gross intake. The light-hearted comedy, which is based on the popular West End production of the same name, links cheesy ABBA songs into a coherent story, but what really makes it a comedy is Firth and Brosnan's out of key singing.
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) No matter how hard he tries, it's unlikely that poor Daniel Radcliffe will be associated with anyone but his geeky wizard character in the Harry Potter potter series for a while yet. The Philosopher's Stone was the first instalment of the eight fantasy films that are based on J.K Rowling's novels of the same name. The film racked up an astonishing £62m in total. Four other Harry Potter films including The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban, took in gross profits ranging from £46.1m to £54m.
3. Casino Royale (2006) The James Bond series, which began in 1962, is the longest continually-running film series in history. The action thriller Casino Royale, starring heart throb, Daniel Craig, took in an impressive £55m. It is the highest gross intake a Bond film has ever taken, but it could still be shaken and stirred off the top spot by Skyfall this year. The 2008 film A Quantum of Solace, came just behind Casino Royale, grossing £50m.
4. The Full Monty (1997) This outrageous British comedy, directed by Peter Cattaneo, pulled in £52.2m for the UK film industry. The Full Monty sees a group of steel workers who attempt to raise money by going 'the Full Monty' in their strip tease routine. It's just a shame they didn't workout before hand!
5. The Kings Speech (2011) The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth, was hailed as the most successful independent British film ever, and was screened in the UK for five weeks. It grossed a total of £44m in the UK and it topped the record for the highest earning film on an opening weekend, taking in £3,510,000 from almost 400 cinemas.
6. The Inbetweeners (2011) This crude but hilarious film grossed £41,800,00m in the UK making it the biggest grossing comedy last year. The film, based on the TV sitcom of the same name, set the record for the most successful opening weekend ever achieved by a comedy film in the UK. It knocked Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason off the top spot and remained number 1 in the UK film charts for a month until it was overtaken by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. We can't get enough of these hormonal lads' stupid antics, so we just hope the rumours of a sequel are true!
7. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) It's probably one of the funniest chick-flicks ever made. Bridget Jones, starring Renée Zellweger, tells the story of one woman's attempt to lose weight and decide between Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) as a boyfriend. The light hearted comedy took in £41,692,598 in total and its sequel, The Edge of Reason grossed £36.9m. We can't wait for the third film which, it has been rumoured, will start filming this month.
8. Love Actually (2003) This heart warming Christmas film was a huge hit in the UK, reaching a total gross income of £36.9m. Its ensemble cast featured top actors including Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy. It is normally screened on television every Christmas due to its popularity. Only the Grinch could dislike this beautiful film!
9. Chicken Run (2000) This animated film flew straight into our top 10 after reaching an astounding £29m gross intake. The Dreamworks production, aimed at young children and families, saw a group of chickens take flying lessons from a rooster in order to escape the farm and save themselves from being made into pies. Sorry chickens, but we all love a good pie...
10. The Life of Brian (1979) This side splitting classic British comedy was the fourth highest-grossing film in the UK in 1979. In has been named as one of the "greatest comedy films of all time" by Total Film magazine and The Guardian newspaper. In addition, it has a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as being in IMBD's top 250 movies of all time. This film seems to get funnier and funnier every time you watch it, especially the signature quote, 'He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!.' Genius.