British-produced films like Casino Royale and The Da Vinci Code helped to provide a £4.3 billion boost to the country's economy from the UK movie industry last year.

New figures show that homegrown films' contribution to Britain's GDP in 2006 was up 39 per cent over the last two years.

Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig and Tom Hanks' turn in The Da Vinci Code made almost £90 million at the UK box office combined, but the data shows that the beneficial effects of the films go beyond the cinema.

The research, conducted for the UK Film Council, hails the "widespread" contribution made by British movies to the country as a whole through increased employment, production and servicing.

Today's report says that thanks to the government's tax relief afforded to UK film-makers, the industry's output was booming, with 120 films made on average yearly since 2000 compared to the 43 being made annually during the 1980s.

John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council, said he expected British films to have a ten per cent share of the global market by the end of the decade.

"This new report shows that the UK film industry is a major contributor to the UK economy making films that UK and international audiences want to see and generating financial and cultural benefits," he commented.

"Thanks to our world class film facilities and phenomenal skills and talent, backed by government and industry investment, the British film industry is strong and primed for further growth."

Mr Woodward added that one in ten tourists said they had been attracted to Britain due to watching films made in the UK.

Top 20 grossing UK films released in UK and Republic of Ireland in 2006 (including joint productions)

1 Casino Royale (£55.48 million)
2 The Da Vinci Code (£30.42 million)
3 Flushed Away (£11.13 million)
4 The Queen (£9 million)
5 Stormbreaker (£6.79 million)
6 Children of Men (£4.86 million)
7 The History Boys (£4.22 million)
8 The Wind that Shakes the Barley (£3.91 million)
9 V for Vendetta (£3.58 million)
10 United 93 (£2.9 million)
11 Match Point (£2.47 million)
12 It's a Boy Girl Thing (£2.42 million)
13 Derailed (£2.3 million)
14 Alien Autopsy (£2.18 million)
15 Confetti (£2.09 million)
16 An American Haunting (£2.02 million)
17 Severance (£1.72 million)
18 Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction (£1.16 million)
19 A Cock and Bull Story (£1.10 million)
20 Breaking and Entering (£0.97 million)

23/07/2007 13:19:25