Pinewood to invest millions in British films

Small-budget film-makers will soon roll cameras alongside producers of blockbuster movies after studios giant Pinewood Shepperton revealed plans to invest millions of pounds in British films.

Pinewood, which is home to the James Bond and Harry Potter franchises, said it will invest up to a 20% stake in films with production budgets of around £2 million and intends to buy in to about four films each year.

The chosen films will have access to available space at its studios in Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

The group hopes the selected Brit flicks will echo the success of Oscar-winner The King's Speech, which cost £9 million to make and has grossed more than 245 million US dollars (£150 million) since its release.

Chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said: "Although our financial commitment to each film will be relatively small, we can, in addition, offer British films access to the world-class facilities and production expertise at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios which would normally be beyond their budget."

The announcement comes as the 75-year-old studios, also home to television shows such as Dancing On Ice and Dragons' Den, posted a 31% increase in pre-tax profits to £5.8 million in the year to December 31 and an 8% increase in revenues to £43.4 million.

Pinewood said the chosen films would also have access to ancillary services at the studios.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt backed the move, saying: "We are delighted that Pinewood is showing its support for smaller British film productions.

"As the recent success of The King's Speech demonstrates, smaller British films have the potential to become smash hits globally and any support that the industry can offer producers, we welcome."

The group's film division, which offers 34 stages, including the largest in Europe, had a successful 2010, driving the gains in total revenue as it hosted several big-budget movies at its studios.

The fourth instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, starring Johnny Depp, the final Harry Potter film and a forthcoming adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's 19th century novel Jane Eyre were all filmed at the studios in 2010.

Film revenues were £29.1 million, up from £22.6 million, while TV revenues dropped to £8.2 million from £11.3 million.

Pinewood said the TV division was hit by ITV and BBC deciding to use their own in-house studio facilities to save on costs.

The studios still played host to shows such as BBC sitcom My Family, Piers Morgan's Life Stories and entertainment show Ant & Dec's Push The Button.

The group's other revenue stream, Media Park, which offers 297 media-related businesses, was slightly down at £6.2 million, compared with £6.3 million the previous year.

Looking ahead, Mr Dunleavy said the year had "begun positively".

He said: "As a result of this performance to date, and the visibility of contracted revenues from major films for the rest of the year, the company expects continuing growth in revenues in 2011."

Pinewood intends to add its film stage capacity to help meet an increasing demand for its services in the UK, Mr Dunleavy added.

The King's Speech, which won four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Colin Firth in the lead role, is on track to be the most lucrative British film ever made.

The film - about King George VI's attempts to overcome a severe stutter - is estimated to gross in excess of 300 million US dollars (£185 million).

A large proportion of the takings will be shared with the cinemas and international distributors, such as American film producer Harvey Weinstein but a substantial chunk is expected to make its way back to the UK.

Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
musicReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Arts and Entertainment
‘Dawn of Planet of the Apes’ also looks set for success in the Chinese market

film
News
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight

tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

    Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

    The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
    The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

    The Open 2014

    Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?