£21 million tax relief for Ronin 47

The Hollywood flop Ronin 47 cost £146 million to make, of which £21 million came from the generous UK tax credit for British films. The other £125m was paid by Universal Studios.

British films qualify for 25% tax relief for the first £20m and 20% for the balance. A film is British if 10% of the spending is in the UK and it scores at least 18 out of 35 in the BFI Cultural Test. A film gets 6 points just for being in English.

The film starred Keanu Reeves. It grossed £98.5 million worldwide.

It is one of several Hollywood films that have qualified for UK film relief. Other films include Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World, Hercules and World War Z.

Foreign film producers have spent £1 bn on film making in the UK, comprising about 80% of the UK film market.

The British Film Industry calculates that every £1 of tax relief generates £12 to the wider economy, including employment of 66,000 film workers. It further argues that the British tax relief is needed to compete with similar tax breaks for films offered by South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.

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