The British film production boom, including the Han Solo spin-off from Star Wars and a live action remake of Disney’s Dumbo, is helping boost services industry growth as other sectors flag.
“Motion picture activities” – including production activity and income from box office hits such as Wonder Woman, Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – were singled out by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday as playing a significant role in the modest growth in UK GDP reported in the three months to the end of June.
The 8.2% surge recorded in the second quarter by the wider film, TV and music sectors – mostly accounted for by the boom in motion picture activity – made it the second largest contributor to the 0.5% increase in services GDP reported by the ONS, after the retail industry.
This boom is being fuelled by Hollywood studios increasingly choosing to shoot big-budget films in the UK, attracted by significant government tax breaks, as well as access to top-class on- and off-screen talent and studio facilities.