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

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen