Chapter 8 Theatrical release history and comparative performance of independent domestic UK films A successful theatrical release is seen as key to a film’s long-term prospects, and competition for the available cinema release slots is fierce. However, two thirds of independent domestic UK films which are not released theatrically do reach audiences by being shown at festivals or becoming available on other platforms. FACTS IN FOCUS: Just under half (48%) of independent domestic UK films with production budgets of £500,000 or more shot between 2003 and 2011 were released within two years of principal photography. The percentage of independent domestic UK films achieving a theatrical release increased with the level of budget. For independent domestic UK films with budgets of less than £5 million, the highest proportion of box office came from the UK and Republic of Ireland, but for films with budgets of £5 million or more less than a quarter came from the UK and Republic of Ireland. Of the films which do not achieve a theatrical release, 67% get shown via another medium or become available on other platforms, with screenings at film festivals and releases on physical video being the most common.
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