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Bollywood slips in the UK

S Kalyana Ramanathan  |  London 

Box office collections from Indian films in the UK and Republic of Ireland have witnessed a minor slip in 2008 accounting for 1.4 per cent of the total collections in this region in 2008, from a 1.6 per cent market share in 2007. Collections from Indian films in the UK had peaked in 2006, when its overall collection accounted for 1.8 per cent, according to the UK Film Council Statistical Year Book 2009, released this past weekend.

Apart from the US, India is the only country to be listed in this year’s book as a standalone category on the basis of films’ country of origin. Movies made by US production houses accounted for 65.2 per cent of total gross box office collection in 2008. But this also slipped from the 2007 level of 67.7 per cent. In 2008, collections by movies made in the UK and Europe improved to 30.7 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively, from 28.5 per cent and 1.8 per cent in 2007.

Interestingly, the number of movies originating from India and shown in the UK and Ireland almost matched those from the UK. Of the 527 films released in 2008, 76 (14.4 per cent) were from India, while films of UK/UK co-productions were 82 (15.6 per cent).

Shah Rukh Khan starrer, Rab Ne Bana De Jodi, was the second largest grosser (£1.5 million) among all foreign films released in the UK and Ireland, followed by Singh is Kinng (£1.4 million) starring Akshay Kumar. In fact, films with Indian origin or co-produced by Indian production houses accounted for half of the top 10 grossing foreign films in the UK and Ireland in 2008.

Yash Raj as a production house also emerged as the biggest gainer among the foreign film production houses that released movies in the UK and Ireland, with a total collection in 2008 at £3.5 million.

Despite the popularity of Indian movies in the UK, the Indian film industry ranks low among its global peers. At 2.1 per cent of the global box office collection, India is ranked 13 among the global markets for “filmed entertainment revenue”. Citing a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, the UK Film Council year book said UK with a 7.7 per cent share, is the third largest market for films in the world. US (41.5 per cent) and Japan (10.4 per cent) are the top two markets.

“The world filmed entertainment market is still dominated by the largest developed economies. Although the Indian market is vast in terms of admissions and both India and China have huge populations and are growing fast economically, their filmed entertainment markets still count in US dollar terms below Australia (population 21 million) and Italy (population 59 million),” according to the 2009 Year Book.

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First Published: Mon, July 20 2009. 00:48 IST