Nowadays cinemas are struggling to attract viewers partly due to home theatre alternative and streaming services such as Netflix. However, the film industry itself is still growing. Series like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones have become huge successes worldwide just like any other Hollywood super-production. But how big is the British film industry?
According to Statista, the film industry in the UK had a revenue of over 3 billion pounds last year. The film and video production industry have grown considerably over the last few years – approximately 32% since 2009.
Compared to all the industry’s average growth which is 5%, it really represents a notable change. But how many video and film production companies are in the UK?
In 2014 there were registered in the United Kingdom over 6,000 film production companies, out of which 2,465 were film, video and TV post-production companies, 405 of those were distribution companies.
We have carefully selected those companies that have worked partially or totally on box office, critical acclaim and awarded films. We have disregarded companies that are part of broadcasters such as BBC Films and the ones that are mainly distributors such as Lionsgate.
The British film production industry is in good health and it has produced in the last years some of the most outstanding worldwide hits (Harry Potter, The Kings´speech to mention few).
Below I have listed the top British film production companies.
TOP BRITISH FILM PRODUCTION COMPANIES
Born in London and with offices in Los Angeles too, their head office is on 1-4 Argyl Street. The Bafta award-winning production company 24mp names among its most The English Game, Military Wives, In Darkness and The Titan. You can learn more about their work on their website https://www.42mp.com.
- In the shadow of the moon
- Sand Castle
- Welcome to the punch
- Monsters: Dark Content
2. Aardman Animations
Based in Bristol and founded by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, it is an animation studio that has produced worldwide. Among their more popular works, there is Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and many other. They have also extensive experience in producing commercial and have made multinational companies such as videos for Nestle and Chevron.
- Chicken Run (2000)
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
- Flushed Away (2006)
- Arthur Christmas (2011)
- The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
- Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
- Early Man (2018)
- A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)
- Chicken Run 2 (TBA)
3. Eon Productions
Eon Productions are well known as the producers of the James Bond film series. They are based on Piccadilly and also operates from Pinewood Studios.
Since the first produced DR No in 1962 up until the release in 2020 of their latest Bond production, Bond 25, they have made a total of 25 films based on the world-famous spy 007.
The Bond films produced by Eon Productions are:
- Dr. No (1962)
- From Russia with Love (1963)
- Goldfinger (1964)
- Thunderball (1965)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
- Live and Let Die (1973)
- The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
- Moonraker (1979)
- For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- Octopussy (1983)
- A View to a Kill (1985)
- The Living Daylights (1987)
- Licence to Kill (1989)
- GoldenEye (1995)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
- The World Is Not Enough (1999)
- Die Another Day (2002)
- Casino Royale (2006)
- Quantum of Solace (2008)
- Skyfall (2012)
- Spectre (2015)
- No Time to Die (2020)
4. Archery Pictures
Founded in 2014 by Kris Thykier, it is an independent production company that has produced films such as Tolkien, Burnt, Miss Sloan and it is well known for being the producer of the Sky Atlantic success, Riviera, a thriller set in the opulent South of France.
Côte d’Azur Archery has produced Riviera, a ten-part thriller for Sky Atlantic set against the backdrop of the opulent Côte d’Azur. It became the most downloaded box set ever at the time and was nominated for two Baftas.
According to their own words, Archery Pictures are driven by a passion to create original and high-end film and television for international audiences. I believe this relatively new company would grow quickly in the following years as it seems that it has a lot to offer.
- Burnt with Bradley Cooper
- W.E. by Madonna
- Woman in Gold
6. Baby Cow Productions
Born in 1999 in London and the company was established by actor Steve Coogan and Henry Normal. They have extensive experience in producing for television. It has been involved in TV productions like Moone Boy, The Shadow Line, Sensitive Skin and Red Dwarf among many others.
It has actually produced over 50 different shows for television. It has since diversified into radio, animation and film and in 2008 BBC bought 25% of the company. Their most notable production is Alan Partridge.
Top film productions:
- Ideal Home (2018)
- Mindhorn (2016)
- I Believe in Miracles (2015)
- Northern Soul (2013)
- Philomena (2013)
- Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)
6. Ecosse Films
Ecosse Films is an award-winning production company, specialising in drama for film and television. They have produced films such as Nowhere Boy, Charlotte Grey and Black Death.
They have produced over 15 films for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Showtime, Sky Atlantic among others. They have grown consistently within the last few years and I am very confident they have a bright future ahead of them.
In 2011, it released its feature film The Decoy Bride, a rom-com about a celebrity wedding on a remote island in Scotland. It was directed by Sheree Folkson and starred David Tennant, Alice Eve and Kelly Macdonald.
The same year they released Wuthering Heights directed by Andrea Arnold. The world premiere was in competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.
7. Heyday Films
Heyday Films is very well known for producing the Harry Potter saga, Paddington, Fantastic Beasts and Gravity. Founded in 1996 by producer David Heyman, it has experienced huge success since.
Their latest production is actually the Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood starred by DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. I personally believe that Heyday Films has a lot to offer and will definitely become one of the most important film production companies in the United Kingdom.
Its first film was Ravenous and since then, it has gone from one success to another.
Top feature films:
- Sometimes always never
- A Prayer before Dawn
- A quiet passion
- Sunset song
- Under the mund
- Of time and the city
8. Hurricane Films
Found in Liverpool by Solon Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter, the former drummer for The Farm. Their most notable works are Sometimes always never, A quiet passion and Of Time and the city.
This independent video production company owned by Sol and Roy who received their second BAFTA nomination (The Carl Foreman Award for producing) for the feature documentary ‘Of Time & The City’, directed by Terence Davies.
A film that premiered at the Cannes Festival in 2008 and managed to win several awards such as the New York Film Critics Circle prize for Best Documentary Feature.
9. The Imaginarium
The Imaginarium is a production company that was founded by Andy Serkis and producer Jonathan Cavendish in 201. It is based in London. Breath and Ritual are their most relevant films.
10. The Ink Factory
According to its own website, the Ink Factory is an independent studio with global reach,l. It was founded in 2010 by Stephen and Simon Cornwell. Their latest work Fighting with my Family is a dark comedy which grossed over $39 million in the box office.
In December 2018 it released the Netflix Mowgli. Where stars like Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis play important roles. The film was directed by Andy Serkis and released worldwide by Netflix.
It has headquarters in LA and London, this studio is responsible for celebrated films like Sugar Man and Murder Mountain although they stand out for their non-fiction documentary films.
12. MARV Studios
Marv Films is probably among the top three British production companies. Owned by Matthew Vaughn, it is best known for producing Stardust, Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman and The Golden Circle.
Vaughn, aged 25, produced a low-budget thriller, The Innocent Sleep (1996), starring Annabella Sciorra and Michael Gambon which triggered his career. He continued as a producer on close friend Guy Ritchie’s film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
The film was a critical, popular and financial success, earning Vaughn and Ritchie £9 million each. Vaughn would later produce Ritchie’s Snatch and Swept Away..
- Layer Cake
- Harry Brown
- Kick Ass
- The Debt
- Kick-Ass 2
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
- Fantastic Four
- Eddie the Eagle
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle
- The King’s Man
13. Number 9 Films
Founded in 2002 by award-winning producing partners Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, it is more known as the producers of Collette with Keira Knightley.
- 2012 Midnight’s Children – $1.6 million
- 2012 Byzantium – $92,544
- 2012 Great Expectations – $920,099
- 2014 Hyena – $89,526
- 2015 Carol – $42.8 million
- 2015 Youth – $24 million
- 2016 The Limehouse Golem – $2.2 million
- 2016 Their Finest – $13.8 million
- 2017 On Chesil Beach – $3.4 million
- 2018 – Colette
Part of the All3Media group and founded in 2001, Raw services comprise many areas related to scripts, films and TV. The Imposter and American Animals are among their most celebrated works
15. Working Title Films
Working Title, probably the largest British film production company, it was founded in 1984 by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe and currently owned by Universal Studios. The Big Lewosky, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Tudors are some of their most notable works.
Working Title filmography is really long and include worldwide successes well-known to everyone such as Baby Drive, The Theory of Everything, Love Actually, Hot Fuzz. For its full filmography, click here.
Below I have listed its latest films:
- Yesterday (III) (2019)
- Cats (2019)
- Love Actually (2003)
- The Tudors (2007–2010)
- Baby Driver (2017)
- The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
- Les Misérables (2012)
- Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
16. Revolution Studios
Revolution Films founded by Andrew Eaton and Michael Winterbottom. They are well known for producing films like Jude (1996), Rush (2013) and The Trip (2010 TV series).
It co-produced Peter Pan in 2003 together with Columbia and Universal Studios among others. Its most notable works are Black Hawk Down, Maid in Manhattan, Hell Boy, Click Rocky Balboa. You can find out more information on their website.
17. Vertigo films
It is a British film production company founded by Allan Niblo and James Richardson. Based in London, the company has produced and distributed box office successes such as Monsters, Street Dance 3D and Bronson.
Since its creation in 2002, Vertigo has released over 30 titles and won multiple awards such as the Saturn Award for the Best International Film. It has been released for Tv production like Britannia and Bulletproof.
18. Salon Pictures
Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated producers Nick Taussig and Paul Van Carter founded Salon in 2013. Salon Pictures is a dynamic and modern studio that has produced TV, documentaries and TV. Among their most notable productions, there are films like Churchill, My Name is Lenny and Lek & The Dogs.
Salon has also produced a series pilot Dinner With Friends for Will Smith and Overbrook Entertainment. It has also been hired by large companies like Facebook, Unilever and Rude Health to produce content.
Currently it is working in the production of Stardust, a film based on the young David Bowie, as well as the feature documentary Audrey, about the life and career of the iconic model and actress. Its latest feature documentary, The Spy Who Fell To Earth, is on Netflix.
Top Salon Pictures productions:
- Don Don
- Mad bastard
- My name is Lenny
- The Challenge
- The Iconoclast
19. See Saw
See-Saw Films was founded in 2008 by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman. With operating offices in the UK, Australia and the USA, they produced the award-winning drama, the King’s Speech.
- Widows (2018)
- Lion (2016)
- The King’s Speech (2010)
- Shame (2011)
- Mary Magdalene (2018)
- Top of the Lake (2013– )
- Macbeth (2015)
- The Day Shall Come (2019)
20. Trademark Films
Trademark Films was founded in 1999 by Academy Award-winning David Parfitt. Their more popular works are My Week With Marilyn and I Capture The Castle. Their latest work Red Joan was released in cinema on April 2019. Find out more about their work on their site.
- Red Joan (2019)
- The Wipers Times (2013)
- My Week with Marilyn (2011)
- A Bunch of Amateurs (2008)
- I Capture the Castle (2003)
21. Warp Films
Also, known as Warp, it is a film production company based in Sheffield and London. Founded in 2001 by Rob Mitchell and Steve Beckett, it is behind worldwide know successes such as Submarine and This is England and have also produced relatively successful music documentary film on The Stone Roses (The Stone Roses: Made of Stone) and Arctic Monkey.
- Dead Man’s Shoes 2004
- This Is England 2006
- Grow Your Own 2007
- Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo 2008
- The Mighty Boosh Live: Future Sailors Tour 2009
- Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee 2009
- Exhibit A 2009 Dom Rotheroe
- Four Lions 2010
- Submarine 2010
- Snowtown 2011
- The Stone Roses: Made of Stone 2013
- ’71 2014
- Ghost Stories 2017
- Yardie 2018
- The Death and Life of John F. Donovan 2018
- Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Post-Production) 2020