The King’s Cash

The King's SpeechThe Guardian does some number crunching on The King’s Speech’s projected box office take, and wonders aloud where all that money will go.  The film was originally backed by the UK Film Council – which will be wrapped up by April 1st. Over at the UKFC they’re positive about the profit, saying it’s a vindication of the policy of using public funds to back cultural product.

“The irony of the situation has been observed,” admits Tanya Seghatchian, head of the UKFC’s film fund. “But what we’re feeling right now is triumphant. What we have is the most successful independent British film of all time, made as a direct result of public funding. That’s a great validation and a great thing to have at the end of a very difficult eight-month period. Yes, it’s a bittersweet moment. But it’s also an amazing legacy for the UKFC as a whole.”

However, the projected £12 million that may come back (a twelve-fold return on the investment) will just about cover the estimated UKFC wind-up costs which come in at £11 million.

The Guardian’s numbers make for interesting reading, and they point out the difficulty of getting a full share of profits from US distributors, who are notorious for their accounting practices that can present even a wildly successful movie (Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix, anyone?) as being in the red. Studios have a schizophrenic attitude to box office figures, trumpeting the take during a movie’s theatrical run, then minimizing what can be considered actual profit that will be returned to investors or talent.

Never mind the BAFTAs – who will get The King’s Speech riches? – The Guardian
Studio Shame – Deadline Hollywood Daily