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.

How the genre of film production changes around the world

Last week, I shared the results of a research project I conducted into the genre of global film production.

Today, I’m drilling into those numbers to look at how filmmaking tastes change between different countries.

This comes from my dataset of every movie I could find that was produced over the past twenty years – that’s over 117,000 movies from in 151 countries, shot between 1998 to 2017, inclusive.

Let’s start by breaking down the movies into continent of origin and then later we’ll zoom into the individual nations.

Which continent’s filmmakers lead each genre

The chart below shows which continent movies of each genre come from, over the twenty-year period I studied. For example, 50% of all Historical movies made over that time came from European nations.  …

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Genre trends in global film production

A few years ago, I looked at what genres are disproportionately popular with cinema audiences around the world.  We learned that Italians enjoyed more comedies, that Asian nations love action, Europeans love drama and that romance burns brightest among Mexican film fans.

That study looked at how films were received in cinemas, but a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that there was another group of people whose genre tastes we could measure – the filmmakers making the movies.

So I set about building a database of the movies made in each country and what genre they are.  Now, I’m willing to concede that the scale of the research I did for today’s article was slightly out of proportion with the value of its findings, …

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The big changes taking place in UK film production

New figures released last week about UK film production in 2017 have prompted questions from readers about the health and evolving nature of the UK film industry.

I’m focusing on the production sector because otherwise it would be far too big a topic for one article. I’ve split the key changes into five points (and a bonus one at the end for good measure).

I’ll start with the happier trends and work towards the less positive changes.

1. Overall, the production sector is booming

In just under twenty years, the amount spent on feature films in the UK has ballooned from £389 million in 1998 to £1.9 billion in 2017.  Once we take inflation into account, this is an almost threefold increase. Some of the …

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Are cinema box office takings rising or falling?

In the last few weeks, there have been a number of press articles discussing the state of the theatrical box office.  Some suggest that the picture is rosy (“Cinema box office breaks record third year in a row“) while others claim it’s in a decline (“2017 was the worst year for movie ticket sales in over two decades“).

I have been contacted by a few readers who asked about these seemingly-conflicting headlines and wanted to know which picture was more accurate.

The short story is that this is no big mystery – the articles are referring to different countries and sometimes different ways of measuring cinema attendance.  In the case of the articles mentioned above, the first is reporting total box office gross in the …

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48 trends reshaping the film industry: Part 4 – Industry changes

This is the last instalment in a four-part series chronicling 48 trends and changes in the film industry.

To compile this list, I have been back through all of my old research, conducted new projects, read outside research and solicited suggestions from my industry readership (thank you to everyone who contributed). The result is a list of 48 trends and changes affecting the film industry.  For readability, I have split them into four groups:

  • Development and finance
  • Cast, crew and production
  • Distribution and exhibition
  • Industry changes (see below)
  • 37. Cannes festival and market are getting bigger

    The Cannes festival (“Festival de Cannes”) and film market (“Marché du Film”) are the biggest events in the industry calendar and attract film professionals from all over the world.   The 2005 Cannes festival and market …

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    48 trends reshaping the film industry: Part 3 – Distribution and exhibition

    This is the third instalment of a four-part series chronicling trends and changes in the film industry.

    To compile the list, I have been back through all of my old research, conducted new projects, read outside research and solicited suggestions from my industry readership (thank you to everyone who contributed).

    The result is a list of 48 trends and changes affecting the film industry.  For readability, I have split them into four groups:

  • Development and finance
  • Cast, crew and production
  • Distribution and exhibition (see below)
  • Industry changes
  • 25. Cinemas are showing far more than just traditional movie screenings

    In the first half of the 20th century, there was a lot of change in what cinemas screened.  They started showing very short gimmicky films, added live music, replaced the music with …

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    48 trends reshaping the film industry: Part 2 – Production

    This is the second instalment of a four-part series chronicling 48 different trends and changes in the film industry.

    Last week I gave you trends 1 to 12, in the fields of development and finance and in future weeks I will cover distribution, sales, exhibition and structural changes in how the film industry operates.

    This week’s twelve trends focus on the production sector, including details of changes to cast and crew.

    13. Movie production worldwide is booming

    In the ten years between 2000 and 2010, worldwide movie production doubled and has continued to rise since then.  This boom is largely down to cheaper and easier to use technologies for shooting, finishing and distributing movies.  In addition, the internet (especially YouTube) has democratised access to the knowledge needed to …

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    48 trends reshaping the film industry: Part 1 Development and Finance

    Each week over the last five years, I have been covering different aspects of the film industry, explaining and illustrating how they function. Next month, I’ll carry on with my new research but for this month I would like to stop and zoom out a little.

    By taking detailed data dives each week it’s easy to miss the bigger picture and lose sight of the wood for the trees.  So, for the next four weeks, I’m going to summarise the biggest trends and changes we’ve seen in the film industry recently.

    To compile this list, I have been back through all of my old research, conducted new projects, read outside research and solicited suggestions from my industry readership (thank you to everyone who contributed). The result …

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    How much of UK distribution will the new Disney Fox company control?

    Last week’s media news was dominated by the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by the Walt Disney Corporation.  There’s no doubt that this represents a huge shift in the dynamics of Hollywood as ‘The Big Six’ (studios) become ‘The Big Five’. How the two mega-companies will work together in practice won’t be known for a while but that hasn’t stopped people speculating about the effect it will have on the entertainment sector. As regular readers know, I’m not a fan of speculation, so I shall sit out this particular pontification party.  That said, I have been asked by a few readers for data on how much of a market share the newly enlarged Disney company will have within UK distribution.  So I …

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    The shocking state of corporate finance among UK film companies

    The vast majority of film research is focused on either the sector as a whole, or studies the performance of a subset of films.  There is very little research into the companies behind the films and how the corporate side of the film business operates.

    This is a rather large oversight as films and filmmakers do not operate in a vacuum – they are employed, resourced and assisted by a network of companies, without whom their films wouldn’t get funded, produced or seen.

    Which is why I am pleased to be able to discuss the results of two studies that looked at the corporate finances of over 100 film businesses in the UK over a ten-year period.  They provide a vital insight into how the film …

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