Recent articles on the Film Data Blog

Each week I look at a different topic around the film industry, focusing on the data and statistics which reveal what's going on.

Should UK broadcasters show more UK films?

Last Friday, the UK’s media regulator, Ofcom, instructed the BBC to increase the number of original UK television programmes it shows at peak-time.  Ofcom pointed to the BBC’s Royal Charter, which includes the duty for BBC output to be “distinctive, creative and [reflect] the UK’s diverse communities”. 

Based on new research, Ofcom said that original, UK-made programming is increasingly important to the UK population and so they have increased the BBC’s obligations towards new, UK-made content.

The Ofcom statement focused on television programmes, but it raises the question: what obligations should public service broadcasters have towards UK-made movies?

So I thought I’d take a look at how British films fare on British public service broadcast networks and ask if Ofcom should extend their new rules to …

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Three major ways movie release patterns are changing

Every few weeks, there is a news story about a new challenge to the traditional distribution model for movies.  The latest of these was the announcement last week that the new Shaft reboot would be using the hybrid release strategy. In the US, it will follow the usual movie release pattern (i.e. theatrical release followed by delayed release onto other platforms), but in the rest of the world, it will premiere on Netflix just two weeks after the US theatrical release. 

By using this innovative approach, the filmmakers were able to get Netflix to pay for “more than half” of the movie’s reported $30 million budget.

This news led me to wonder how movie release patterns are changing.  For today’s research, I built up several …

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The London Film Festival by numbers

The 61st annual London Film Festival kicks off this week, with a programme of 242 feature films from 67 countries around the world. 

So I thought I’d take a quick look at the festival and its films.

The London Film Festival by numbers

Last year, the London Film Festival screened to a total audience of 184,000 people, making it the UK’s largest film festival by a big margin. 

And it’s growing; the 2016 attendance figure is 70% higher than a decade ago.

Note: I could not find the figures for 2002 and 2005 but the festival did run.

Good value

One possible reason for this large attendance is that tickets compare favourably with average cinema ticket prices in London.  A few years ago, I looked at the average …

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Is a film’s length a sign of its quality?

A few months ago, Stuart Heritage wrote an article for the Guardian entitled “How to spot a bad film without even seeing it“.  It used the example of the Will Ferrell / Amy Poehler comedy The House to discuss his telltale signs that an upcoming film is worth avoiding. These included:

  • Embargoed reviews
  • Production rumours
  • Poster chicanery
  • Interviews about anything but the film
  • Sub-90-minute running time

The first on Stuart’s list – little to no early reviews – has already been covered well by Walt Hickey over at FiveThirtyEight.  In the article When Should You Buy Into A Movie’s Hype? he looked at the correlation between when movie reviews are released and the quality of the movie. Walt notes:

How early the reviews come in can tell us …

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