The BBFC Annual Report In Numbers

Wednesday, July 25 2012
The BBFC Annual Report In Numbers

The arrival of the annual BBFC report is always something of an occasion. It provides plenty of  tabloid (and broadsheet) titillation, this year the headlines were caused by Black Swan, the most complained about film of 2011. But there’s plenty more to it than mentions of lesbian sex, an excuse for cheap gags and some saucy pictures, there’s plenty of other interesting items buried within its pages. Here we’ve picked out a wealth of interesting titbits and morsels we picked up from the report, so here then, is the British Board Of Film Classification’s Annual Report 2011 In Numbers…

8.6 –the average turnaround time in days for a DVD at the BBFC

13 – the percentage improvement in the DVD turnaround time in 2011

2.6 – the average turnaround time in days for a film at the BBFC

One – the BBFC also now offers a same day classification service

Four – the amount of times the BBFC  meets with the BVA on an annual basis. It has, the BBFC notes, “strengthened our relationship with the home entertainment industry”

645,619 – The total number of minutes of video features classified in 2011

9,374 – the total number of video features classified in 2011

12,000 – the total number of video features classified in 2010. That figure was abnormally high due to reclassifications after problems with the original 1984 Video Recordings Act. But it’s still part of an ongoing decline started in 2006. And yet that figure is far higher than the pre-DVD era…

710 – the number of films classified for theatrical release in 2011

8.5 – the year on year percentage rise of films submitted for theatrical classification

13 – the percentage of video releases that get a higher classification than requested by  their distributor, or are forced to make cuts to the get the certificate they asked for. As the report states: ”We encourage all  our customers to indicate what classification they would like each film or video they submit to be awarded. This is a helpful indicator to us.” But, it adds, the public and its own guidelines are “paramount”

23 – the percentage of film releases that get a higher classification than requested, or make cuts to get the one they asked for

200,000 – the number of works that have now been given online classification

Two – the number of podcasts published by the BBFC on 2011. It’s an ongoing initiative to get closer to the public

12,000 – the number of students, mainly from secondary schools, spoken to face to face by the BBFC’s education to talk about its role and wider issues

85 – the percentage of those questioned in BBFC research who want BBFC classification on online content. That raises to 90 per cent for parents of children under 16 years old

82 – the percentage of parents with kids under 16 who prefer to download films with an online BBFC classification

92 – the percentage of parents who regularly download films who find BBFC ratings and content advice useful

Six – the number of blogs penned by BBFC director David Cooke and featured on the Huffington Post between July and December 2011, again aimed at engaging with the public

29 – the number of complaints received over Hanna. Most found the violence “gratuitous and sadistic”

15 – the number of complaints received about Sucker Punch for “perceived sexual suggestiveness” and other similar issues.

16 – the number of complaints received about The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn Part 1

40 – the number of complaints received about Black Swan, mainly about the lesbian sex scene. Despite being the most complained about film of 2011, this number, as the BBFC says, is still just a small proportion of the 2.7 million people who saw it. The BBFC regards sexual activity as being the same regardless of orientation…

Nine – The Hangover Part II received this number of complaints about its content, but was part of a wider number of complaints about gross-out comedies that were rated 15

Seven – the number of media regulators involved in the ParentPort website, a portal that enables parents to raise concerns about content across different media

14 – the number of cities that were involved in National Schools Film week, which saw, among other things, the BBFC give masterclasses in classification to primary and secondary schools. It was just a small part of the organisation’s ongoing educational initiatives

116 – the number of cases processed by the BBFC for police and trading standards officers involving supplying unclassified works on video, which is illegal. Many were  deemed as being unclassified on title alone

Three – the amount of times the “n-word” is used on inter-title cards in the BFI release of The Great White Silence. It referred to a dog, and, as the BBFC says: “While the BBFC takes racial discrimination very seriously, it also makes allowances for historical works. For these reasons and within this very specific context, the BBFC allowed use of the term at U/”

Three – also the number of times a pen-knife was used in the most recent Alvin And The Chipmunks film. This too, drew criticism. Other criticisms came for attacks on human-like cars in Cars 2, the use of the word “fart” in The Muppets and similar references in Horrid Henry The Movie, and very loose sex references in Hop and Puss In Boots

One – Uses of the word “spaz” in the film Mr Popper’s Penguins. This was removed to get the film a PG certificate. Other films that warranted close attention for this classification included The Adventures Of Tintin, Kung Fu Panda 2 and the latest Spy Kids movie. The word “spaz” was also removed from the film Marmaduke…

One – instances the word “bumbaclat” was used in the film Tower Heist. Despite the potential to offend those who knew its origins, it was left in to get it a 12A (and 12 for DVD). That certificate is still much sought after by distributors, the BBFC notes

Six – the number of times the word “fuck” is uttered in George Harrison – Living In The Material World. Given its mammoth three and a half hour running time, the BBFC felt it was thinly spread enough to consider it “infrequent”

12 – After years at 15 and 18 certificates, the increasing family orientation of the WWE, its “PG-friendly” strategy, saw the BBFC assessing wrestling titles again. The result? More WWE releases were classified at 12 rather than 15 in 2011

Three – the number of series of 70s telly sitcom Love Thy Neighbour submitted to the BBFC in 2011. At the time it was primtetime viewing, but contains frequent use of racially derogatory language (stuff we wouldn’t print here). It was given a 12 certificate. Other specific DVD releases that raised questions – and were given 12 certificates – included the BBC’s Sherlock and Jethro – The Cornish Ambassador

Two – the number of times that “strong language” – in this case the word “cocksucker” – is used in J. Edgar, meaning it got a 15 rather than a 12. Language is still one of the biggest issues, and helped titles such as My Week With Marilyn move up to 15 too…

Seven – the number of times very strong language is used in Route Irish. But given the circumstances and plot, the film remained a 15…

Four – the number of older films that were resubmitted for release and saw their original 18 classification move down to 15. The quartet were Cross Of Iron, The Music Lovers, Vampire Circus and The Deadly Spawn

Zero – the number of films that were cut at 18 on the grounds of violence alone

Zero – the number of seconds of cuts in the 2011 submission of In The Realm Of The Senses, aka Ai No Corrida 

Two – the number of films that fell foul of the BBFC for sexual violence in 2011. The Human Centipede II was initially refused a certificate, then given one after “significant cuts” were made; The Bunny Game was refused one completely. Sexual violence is still the major issue for the BBFC and is the subject of current research, due to be published this year

15 – the number of seconds cut from the original Cannibal Holocaust (involving animal cruelty) that allowed the Italian gore flick to finally get an 18…

44 – the percentage fall in titles submitted to the BBFC for R18 between 2010 and 2011. It was the second lowest figure for 10 years, at 623

Seven – the number of films where cuts were needed due to animal animal cruelty. These were The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride, Quiet Flows The Don, Shaolin, Army Of Valhalla, Sword In The Moon, The Divine Weapon and the old Omar Sharif title, Genghis Khan. Most were for horses made to fall “in a fashion that was deemed to be cruel and dangerous”

810 – the number of DVD trailers submitted for classification in 2011

Three – the number of films viewed by the Consultative Committee to consider the BBFC’s classification decisions. They were Drive Angry, The Inbetweeners Movie and The Hangover Part II

Three – the number of films viewed by the BBFC’s Advisory Panel On Children’s Viewing. They were Battle Los Angeles, The Skin I Live In and Hanna

100 – The BBFC is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011…

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