2015 has been a bumper year for the British film industry- and for Pinewood Studios who have produced some of the world's biggest blockbusters, including the latest Star Wars movie. As Grace Pascoe reports it's lead to some positive profits and £200 million worth of expansion.
It's broken global box office records. And profits at the film studio where Star Wars was made are also rocketing. Pinewood made 7 million pounds - that's 10.4 million dollars - in the six months to September - almost triple what it made the previous year. Andrew Smith is Pinewood's Corporate Affairs Director. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PINEWOOD GROUP PLC., CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, ANDREW SMITH, SAYING: "It has done well and occupancy is very high, I think it is 87 percent... Clearly the film tax relief has been very successful, and it adds to the attractiveness of the UK as a destination but it's also about the access to the cameramen, the plasterers, the carpenters, the wigmakers as well as the facilities." Over the past 8 decades Pinewood has been home to some of the world's most iconic films. The latest Bond movie- "Spectre" was also made there - it and Star Wars have been hugely successful. Robert Haigh of Brand Finance thinks Disney got a good deal when they paid 4.1 billion dollars to George Lucas for the Star Wars franchise rights. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAND FINANCE, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, ROBERT HAIGH, SAYING: "The business is now worth 11.1 billion dollars. So that value has nearly tripled just in that very short space of time. And when you look at the pipeline of the films that they are seeking to produce and obviously the massive merchandising opportunities in the form of toys it is really not actually that surprising that Star Wars is worth quite so much." Pinewood already boasts Europe's biggest stage and the world's only permanently-filled underwater one. But it's still expanding, spending £200 million pounds at their Buckinghamshire site - including building 12 new stages. And Hollywood movies aren't their only market - it's also making video games and has just sigend a new contract with Amazon.