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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 August, 2003, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
'Global boom' for UK film
28 Days Later
28 Days Later is set to be a bigger hit in the US than The Full Monty
The latest film by Trainspotting director Danny Boyle has helped Lottery-funded British films "storm" global box offices, the UK Film Council has said.

Boyle's apocalyptic thriller 28 Days Later, with no big-name stars, has taken more than $40m (£25m) at United States box offices over six weeks.

Others are also doing well, including Bend It Like Beckham, which is still in the US box office chart after five months on release.

The UK Film Council, which provides support and funding for film-makers, says the success is proof that a new method of awarding lottery money is working.

28 Days Later, which received £3.2m from the lottery, has become a quiet success in the US after being a cult hit in the UK.

Its US box office total is poised to rise further and overtake hits like The Full Monty, which made $46m, and Gosford Park, with $41m.

Bend It Like Beckham stars Keira Knightley (left) and Parminder Nagra
Bend It Like Beckham stars Keira Knightley (left) and Parminder Nagra
It has already overshadowed the takings of films like Billy Elliot, Sexy Beast and Iris.

Bend It Like Beckham - released in the US in March despite the fact that many Americans do not know who Beckham is - has now earned more than $28m (£17.5m).

"It's encouraging to see that international audiences are flocking to see more UK films this summer," UK Film Council chief executive John Woodward said.

"Our lottery investments in films are not only winning the British film industry some prestigious positions at film festivals around the world but also now doing significant business at the international box office."

'New wave'

The UK Film Council was created in 2000 to take responsibility for the public funding of films - replacing organisations like the Arts Council and the British Film Institute.

The methods of distributing lottery money were changed at that time and a "new wave" of British hits have been made in the last three years, the council says.

Funding decisions are no longer made by committee, with film-makers themselves helping decide which projects are likely to appeal to audiences.

Movies like Mike Bassett: England Manager, Bloody Sunday, The Magdalene Sisters and Anita & Me have also benefited from its funds.

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