Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Case Study - The Kings Speech

'The Kings Speech' is a 2010 British historical film by the United Kingdom. 

Director: Tom Hooper
Producers: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter etc.
Studios: See-Saw Films, UK Film Council, Bedlam Productions
Distributed by: Weinstein Company, Momentum Pictures
Country: United Kingdom, Britain
Budget: £8 Million
Box Office: $414,211,549

What makes 'The Kings Speech' British?

The King's Speech (TKS) relates to many aspects of being a British film as it includes a setting in the UK, a British cast and has a story line about some aspect of British life (in the past).

Exhibition Issues
TKS was not expected to do so well in the film industry. The guardian claimed that 'The UK's mainstream media doesn't usually pay much attention to cinema box office, but a likely exception is the inspiring performance of The King's Speech'. Although this was expected, their suggestion was wrong. TKS hit the box office with £255,923,090. The film managed to loose some Saturday showtimes at the cinema, however, this did not matter as they grossed a lot over huge cinema's such as London's Chelsea cinema (they made over £40,000) and much more in other cinema's such as the Leicester Square's Odeon (£106,000) and Westfield's Vue (£51,000). These are just a few examples. The film was nominated for 14 BAFTA's and 12 Oscars, meaning the film had hit it's potential and success for the next few months as people could identify the film through these awards.
Reviews in 'The Guardian' said that the film did well for itself one week into being at the cinema's, implying the film was earning a lot of money. They also said that Monarchy films 'are a godsend for the British film industry' meaning that they make a lot of money as they're going into the deep history of the country.
The website 'Rotten Tomatoes' mainly reviewed the film in a positive way. Top critics have reviewed the film as a 'masterpiece', 'major achievement', 'intriguing' and 'majestic'. This suggest's the film did successful in a variety of ways including the story line and the characters. 

The film was successful due to it relating to Britain's early Monarchy. This is stereo typically British, allowing a lot of people to know about it. As a lot of the US enjoy watching stereotypical British films, this appealed to them very well. By the film including a well known actor such as Colin Firth suggests that the film did well for this reason as well as other reasons. The actor attracted and appealed a lot of fans to come and see this film.

Production Issues
During the production of TKS, they faced the problem of Geoffrey Rush. They had the problem of trying to get Geoffrey Rush to be in the film. A problem occurred because his agent declined a number of times for Rush to have a role in the film, however, as he was desperately wanted, one of the organisations (See-Saw Productions) wrote a letter to Rush asking for him to play a role in the film, and fortunately he accepted.
Traditionally, the film was created to be a play, however, after many rejections from theater companies and producers they had to reconsider and decided to convert it into a film. Finally, the script was given to a member of Bedlam Productions and they loved it. The production company saw the potential in a film adaptation, and we now know that the potential he saw came real when the film did so well.

Financing of the film was easier when the UK Film Council contributed a large amount of money to back the film, along with along with Prescience films and Harvey Weinstein from the USA (they had a share in this), and this helped the film a lot financially as they then had a wider range of what they could do. Weinstein and Co had created most of the backing up for TKS although Prescience had noticed the films potential. The co-producer of the film Ian Canning wanted the film to be independent and he rejected many offers from company Fox Searchlight to fully fund it. Another co-producer told viewers that Prescience were a 'key element' of their financial plan. He said 'without their commitment, the film would not have happened'.

Distribution and Marketing Issues
Synergy marketing was produced as See-Saw Films and Bedlam Productions created and produced the entire film. Once marketing was needed in order to sell the film, they faced a problem. The British Board of Film decided to certificate the film as a 15, as the language used in a certain scene wasn't great. However, after much protesting by the director Tom Hooper, the board reclassified it as a 12A. In January 2011, the distributor and executive director of the film Harvey Weinstein was considering re-editing it to allow it to be lowered in the classification, however Hooper rejected his obligation.

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