Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 13:13 UK

Record year for UK film takings

Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Milionaire picked up eight Oscars this year

Oscar-winning drama Slumdog Millionaire and Mamma Mia! helped UK films generate more than $4bn (£2.58bn) in box office takings worldwide in 2008.

Last year saw the highest takings since records began in 2002, the UK Film Council said.

It said the UK accounted for 15% of the global market, up from 12% in 2007.

Other top-performing UK movies included Quantum of Solace, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl.

The success of Batman film The Dark Knight also helped boost UK takings.

Film set in the UK
Lead characters British citizens or residents
Film based on British subject matter or underlying material
Original dialogue recorded mainly in English language
Represents/reflects diverse British culture, heritage or creativity
Studio/location shooting, visual and special Effects
Music recording, audio post production, picture post production
British director, scriptwriter, producer, composer, key staff, crew
British lead actor/majority of cast
Films need to score at least 16 out of a possible 31 points to qualify

Although seen as a Hollywood production, it qualified as a British film under the council's "cultural test" - which looks at where filming took place, the nationalities of the cast and crew and the film's contribution to the UK economy.

John Woodward, chief executive officer of the UK Film Council, said the latest figures represented a "phenomenal achievement" were "a measure of UK film's vital contribution to the wider economy".

"Maintaining that level of commercial success is essential - encouraging inward investment, securing jobs and boosting Britain's reputation as a world leader in cultural excellence."

Film Minister Barbara Follett promised the government would "continue to provide the funding, infrastructure and support needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the world film market".

The top UK films in Europe were Mamma Mia! with 34m tickets sold, and Quantum of Solace Quantum of Solace, with 27m admissions.

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