Figures released by the UK Film Council show the UK's share of world box office gross fell to its lowest level since records began in their present form in 2002 (Figure 1). As the chart makes clear, it's a wildly fluctuating picture year-on-year, driven by the performance of a small number of big hits.
UK films grossed around $2 billion in 2009, a 6.7% share of the total global theatrical market, down from 15.1% in 2008 when The Dark Knight, Quantum of Solace and Mamma Mia! topped the rankings (Table 1).
The highest grossing UK films in 2009 were led by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Slumdog Millionaire and Sherlock Holmes.
The UK Film Council expects UK market share to climb again in 2010, courtesy of some big inward investment feature releases during the year (starting with Clash of the Titans, which opens in April in most territories, and ending with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I as the year closes).
Figure 1: UK films global market share 2002 to 2009 (click to enlarge)
Table 1: Top three UK films at the global box office, 2002 to 2009