Foreign Language Films Struggle for UK Success

After Polish film “Ida” won the Oscars® Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015, there has been debate over whether the audience for foreign language films is vastly decreasing in the UK.

Films with good ratings and reviews aren’t necessarily receiving the backing they need to become great success stories in UK box offices or even get released. No release means no UK-wide distribution, no budget and no advertising. This was the case for one of the top competitors at the Cannes Film Festival last year; ‘Goodbye to Language’, by Jean Luc Godard.  Similarly, a previous award winner, ‘Winter Sleep’, by Nuri Bilge Ceylon did find release, but unfortunately flopped quite spectacularly in Britain with next to no ticket sales despite glowing reviews.

By box office revenue, UK and US films are dominating the leader-boards by a very long way. The Top 20 have all brought in £50million and above whereas the top 10 foreign films in the 21st century ranged from £2 – 11million maximum.  Chinese and Spanish films achieved the majority of the success, mirroring their increasing popularity as languages to learn today. However, the audience is still not forthcoming.

The statistics do imply that we take the English language for granted and that we’ve grown accustomed to English being the default language in today’s popular culture. But we’re missing out!

We want to encourage all you film lovers out there to look beyond the subtitles and experience new, fresh and intelligent world cinema, as well as learning and improving language skills.

Broaden your horizons both culturally and linguistically … get the language advantage!