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DVD sales 'boosting UK's films'

image captionA US film version of The Inbetweeners is reported to be in the pipeline

DVD sales are directly funding some the UK film industry's biggest hits, new research by the British Video Association suggests.

Its report says the UK video industry "contributes more to the finance of film and television content than any other single source of revenue".

Hit film Inbetweeners was given the go-ahead following strong DVD sales of the Channel 4 TV series.

The film went on to make more than half its revenue from video.

The comedy, which cost around £3.5m to make, made more than £45m at the box office worldwide last year - becoming the most successful British comedy to date.

In December 2011, it became the third fastest-selling video release of the year, after Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2.


A report released by the British Video Association on Friday estimates that 47 per cent of feature film revenue comes from video sales and rentals, significantly boosting homegrown film success.

Bafta award-winning documentary Senna made 62 per cent of its revenue from video, compared with just six per cent at the box office.

Similarly Simon Pegg's sci-fi comedy Paul made 60 per cent of its revenue from video, compared to just 17 per cent at the box office.

"As the BVA's report shows, video continues to be a critical part of the film industry's ecosystem and a significant driver of revenue," said Eddie Cunningham, of Universal Pictures.

"Paul and Senna are two great examples of British filmmaking at its best, and the revenue generated from video... is hugely important in helping British producers like Working Title re-invest back into production and continue to create great films," he continued.

image captionDVD sales account for 50% of Doctor Who's revenue

TV series and children's productions are also heavily reliant upon video revenue to bolster industry turnover.

Critically acclaimed TV series such as Doctor Who and Planet Earth generate huge profits from video.

Half the total revenue of Doctor Who is estimated to come from video sales in the UK and abroad.

Planet Earth has sold some seven million DVDs worldwide - allowing profits to be re-invested in follow-up series such as Frozen Planet.

Similarly, strong sales of series one of Downton Abbey on DVD paved the way for future series of the popular ITV drama.

Last year, the amount spent by consumers on video entertainment - a total of £2.3bn - was more than that spent on cinema and music combined, with sales of DVDs accounting for the biggest share.

At present, the British Video Association expects discs "to remain the consumers' preferred option for the foreseeable future", but the digital sector - while small - continues to show growth.

More on this story

  • Sales of DVDs decline during 2011