U.K.'s Pinewood Shepperton Posts Fall in Film Revenues for Last Six Months of 2011

The Huntsman and the Dwarves
Universal Pictures

Chris Hemsworth, who starred in Thor and its upcoming sequel, plays the huntsman, who is enlisted by the queen to track down Snow White after she escapes to the forrest.

But 2011’s bumper crop of Hollywood-backed films shooting there raises year-on-year tally.

LONDON – U.K. studio facilities group Pinewood Shepperton – a destination for Hollywood-backed movie shoots – posted a slight fall in film revenues and a splash of red ink across its balance sheet for the six and twelve months ending Dec. 31, 2011.

The company – home to the 007 sound stage and a location for shoots including the Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth-starrer Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal) at Pinewood and Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley (Working Title Films/ Universal) at Shepperton – said film revenues for the six months to Dec. 31, 2011 hit £17.8 million ($28.2 million), down from £18.2 million ($28.8 million) in the same period last year.

But for the 12 month period to the end of December last year, movie revenues reached £35.9 million ($56.9 million), up from £29.1 million ($46.1 million) in 2010, an increase of 24 percent.

Other projects shooting and using the facilities included Prometheus (Fox), Dark Shadows (Warner Bros), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema and MGM) and the 23rd James Bond film Skyfall (Eon Productions/ MGM/Sony Pictures).

The increase in revenues for 2011 mirrors the British Film Institute’s recent figures that showed U.K. production spend in 2011 was the highest ever recorded.

But the company also note that lost before tax hit £5.4 million ($8.6 million) for the company as a whole in the last six months of 2011, a reversal of 2010’s £4.3 million ($6.8 million) profit posting.

Within the group, television revenues rose to £3.6 million ($5.7 million) in the last six months of 2011, up from 2010’s tally of £3.1 million ($4.9 million).

Revenues in the 12 month period in 2011 were £8.3 million ($13.1 million), a slight rise from £8.2 million ($13 million) the previous year.

According to the company, for the past two years there has been a down turn in television production but there is now evidence that this trend is reversing.

Pinewood and Teddington television studios played host to new and repeat business from Lee Mack’s All Star Cast (Zepperton) and The Rob Brydon Show (talkbackTHAMES). During the period, television productions such as Don’t Stop Me Now (Sky One) and Love Machine (Sky One) also utilised large film stages at Shepperton Studios.

The balance sheet took a hit from its Project Pinewood, its plans to expand the site and build permanent sets and housing, incurring a £7.1 million ($11.2 million) exceptional charge for its ill-fated efforts.

Pinewood Shepperton chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said: “The on-going demand from big budget films and large scale television shows for our unique facilities remains resilient.”

He noted that while Pinewood forms “a vital part in driving growth in the U.K.’s well-established and world-leading creative industry” he and the board “consequently is disappointed that the Planning Inquiry did not result in a successful outcome for Project Pinewood. “

But Dunleavy noted the facilities group would continue to aim for the studios to “remain a global centre for the film and creative industries.”