The BBFC Annual Report In Numbers

Wednesday, July 24 2013
The BBFC Annual Report In Numbers

The annual report from the BBFC always makes for fascinating reading, it’s one of the publications that we genuinely look forward to receiving.

The 2012 report, just published, is no exception. There’s the headline facts – films ups, DVD submissions stabilising although still down from their record high a few years ago, and, as much of the coverage of the report’s publication revealed, 100 – the BBFC celebrated its centenary in 2012 marking the 100th year since its formation.

There’s also the other side, the slightly more flippant facts, invariably the ones that get picked up by Fleet Street picture editors. This year is was the single complaint received about The Railway Children and imitable behaviour.

But in between there’s plenty of meat about the BBFC, its work and what it’s been doing for the previous 12 months. We’ve been through every page of the hefty report, pulling out some of the fascinating facts and figures about the organisation and its work. And here are our findings, as we present the BBFC Annual Report for 2012 in numbers…

100 – the BBFC celebrated its centenary in 2012 marking the 100th year since its formation.

11 – the number of new vod platforms that signed up to using the BBFC’s ratings and insight online in 2012. The new licensees include Sainsburys, Netflix, Xbox and Dixons Knowhow.

10 – the number of companies who signed up to the BBFC’s Watch And Rate service. The total using the system now totals 24.

180 – the number of households who were sent “hundreds” of DVDs, marking the first stage of the next consultation period for its Classification Guidelines (one of its key tasks for 2012)

10,000 – the total number of people who will eventually be consulted to put together the guidelines, the BBFC’s chief task for 2013…

Four – the number of years between each consultation period and publication of new guidelines

Seven – the number of podcasts published by the BBFC in 2012, subjects included James Bond and family films

140 – the number of schools visited by the BBFC in 2012 as part of its ongoing education programme

4,300 – the number of children the BBFC spoke to in 2012 during National Schools Film Week

91 – the percentage of teenagers who thought the BBFC was “effective” in its work, according to youths asked by the organisation as part of its ongoing consultation

48 – the percentage number of teenagers who check BBFC ratings before seeing a film

850 – the number of films classified by the BBFC in 2012, the highest since 1965

69 – the number of titles the BBFC gave advice on before classification

9,320 – the number of DVDs classified by the BBFC in 2012

2739 – the total number of 15s, the most popular certificate, classified in 2012. The next most popular was 12 (2,284), U (1,798), PG (1,520), R18 (555) and 18 (424)

28 – the number of DVD adverts classified in 2012

820 – the number of DVD trailers classified in 2012

5.9 – the percentage decline in income from DVD and gamers submissions in 2012

9.1876 million – the amount of surplus in pounds sterling retained by the BBFC at the end of 2012

5.709 million – the turnover in pounds of the BBFC in 2012

40 – the growth in percentage terms of online-only classifications in 2012

24 – the number of companies now using the online classification service

31 – the percentage of BBFC classifications that were higher than those sought by their respective distributors

134 – the number of complaints about The Woman In Black, one of the most talked about films of the year. Most letters from the public suggested its certificate should have been higher.

50 – the number of complaints made about Men In Black 3, again that its content was too much for PG-rated audiences…

43 – the number of complaints about The Hunger Games… Some even suggested it shouldn’t have been cut to achieve the 12 rating

13 – the number of complaints about Chronicle. The BBFC argues that its BBFCinsight advice made it clear what the content was and says parents should consult this before taking anyone under the age of 12 to see a film. The same argument applies in the case of The Dark Knight Rises, which drew 10 complaints

42 – the number of years between the first release of The Railway Children and the film receiving its first complaint. Ironically the single dissenting voice (about the dangers of playing in railway tracks) drew more press coverage for the BBFC’s 2012 Annual Report than any other element…

210,000 plus – the total number of titles classified on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray since the 1984 Video Recordings Act. These now have a classification for use online…

Three – the number of times the word “fuck” was used in Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, which drew six complaints from the public about its 12 rating. Use of the word “shit” in the PG-rated We Bought A Zoo drew a similar number of complaints…

64 – the amount of cases of supplying unclassified works processed by the BBFC in 2012 on behalf of police and trading standards officers. Of those, 31 were seized items and 33 were based on the titles alone…

One – the number of times the words “crap” and “arse” were each used in The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists. Normally these words are deemed as being too strong for a U certificate, but were allowed through, it drew three complaints…

Four – the number of instances of potentially imitable dangerous behaviour featured in The Three Stooges which the BBFC said might prove problematic during initial discussions before the film was completed (they involved a vegetable peeler, cheese grater, hair tongs and a microwave). They didn’t appear in the finished film, which got a PG certificate…

0 – the number of cuts the BBFC suggested to get Skyfall a 12A certificate…

12 – Fox asked for a 12A for Taken 2, submitted in its already cut US PG-13 form, although the organisation advised it was too much to earn it a 12A rating in the UK. Fox “chose to make a number of reductions to reduce elements of violence and sadism”. The Taken 2 cuts drew fire from assorted online commentators and film bloggers…

15 – The certificate given to Jack Reacher originally, in line with distributor requests, but Paramount asked for a reconsideration and it was reclassified as 12A after a couple of cuts were made. It was later classified 15 for home entertainment release, an increasingly common sight as films’ cuts are restored for DVD and Blu-ray bow…

Three – the number of breasts a prostitute has in both the original and remade versions of Total Recall. The former was reclassified as a 15 under current guidelines, the latter earned a 12A, thanks to its lack of blood or serious injury and the breast-flashing was only brief…

28 – the number of years Gremlins spent as a 15 certificate until it was reclassified in 2012 as a 12A. The BBFC pointed out that films weren’t just down-rated – Jaws earned a 12 instead of the PG it had had for years…

Eight – the number of times “very strong language” was dubbed out of The Angels’ Share to earn it a 15 for theatrical. They were later restored for the 18-rated home entertainment release…

One – the number of times women urinating on men to neutralise jellyfish stings appeared in front of the BBFC in 2013. Because the scene “establishes a narrative point” The Paperboy was given a 15 certificate…

Seven – Seven Psychopaths was deemed a 15 certificate, despite the fact it contained plenty of strong violence. This was due to the fact, according to the BBFC, that much of it was used in a humorous context, lessening its impact

Two – the number of films cut for 15 by removing strong violence after advice viewings with consumers. One of the two, Savages, was restored for 18 DVD, the other, Storage 24, was not…

Seven – the number of films highlighted by the BBFC which had previously been classified as 18 for home entertainment and had their certificates reduced to 15 in 2012 as they were now “acceptable” at that level. The seven were the aforementioned original Total Recall, American History X, ID, Lisa And The Devil, Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me and The Octagon

0 – the number of cuts made for violence alone at 18 level. Sexual violence is still the major problem, with films such as Dear God No! and Deadtime needing cuts to achieve 18. Killer Joe needed no cuts to gain the 18…

0 – the number of cuts needed in former video nasty Night Of The Bloody Apes, given an uncut 18 certificate for the first time ever for DVD. Its scenes now “appear dated and carry little erotic charge by contemporary standards,” the report says

555 – the number of explicit pornographic works submitted to the BBFC in 2012, down 11 per cent year on year

18.2 – the percentage of porn titles which required cuts to get an R18 certificate, up almost five per cent on 2011

Six – the number of films cited by the BBFC as requiring cuts because of animal cruelty. These included cockfighting (Der Commander, a distressed bull and bird versus snake fights (Brice The Super Hero) and horses falling over (Legendary Amazons, My Way, Sacrifice and War Of The Arrows)

0 – the number of films outright refused a classification by the BBFC in 2012

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