Launching Films ScreenshotDid you know that the film ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ is pencilled in to be released by Paramount on Friday 4th December 2009 – yes 2009 or that ‘Harry Potter Half Blood Prince’ is due for release on Friday 21st November 2008? Well if you want to know when any film is due for release in the UK and who the distributor is then this months website is for you. This month’s website is the Launching Films website, which is the shop front to the Film Distributors’ Association.

This website is a personal favourite of mine, and one which I use on a very regular basis. It is one of the most authoritative sites relating to the release of films in the UK and can be as much as two years in advance.

Apart from the immensely useful UK film release schedule section, one of my favourite sections is the Research Databank. This page includes a section with the monthly UK cinema audiences going back to 2002, the top 100 films of all time, based on gross period (it’s Titanic if you are interested); the worldwide top ten films (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with $850m); UK cinema going audiences data going back to 1935 (a massive 921.3 million admissions compared to 2006’s 156.6 million).

The navigation of the site is very straightforward, with links to nine sections down the left hand side of the page. These links appear on each section with a sub menu on the right-hand-side as necessary. The site can be viewed equally as well in a text only browser; and the download speeds are fairly average. The site is developed by Skywire and contains a good amount of metadata. There is a members only section on the site which is not available to view without a password.

There is also a very useful section which explains about UK film distribution process and a useful links section to many of the main distributors and other related sites.

One of the aims of this column is to highlight useful websites as well as those of interest and I think that this site fulfils that aim. I recommend having a look at this site as it gives a very quick and easy to understand overview what films are in the pipeline and when they are going to be released.

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Download Times:

Connection Rate Download Time
14.4K 56.25 seconds
28.8K 30.03 seconds
33.6K 26.28 seconds
56K 17.29 seconds
ISDN 128K 7.93 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps 4.16 seconds

Navigation: *****
Good Design: *****
Updates: ****
Content ****
Download Speed: ****
Overall: ****

Overall: This is a very useful site for obtaining UK film release information and UK admission data. Highly recommended.

Testing Information: This site is tested using a laptop at 1024 x 768 resolution running Windows XP, Firefox Version and Internet Explorer 7 over an 8Mb Broadband connection.  For the text only test Lynx on a Linux Server is used. A website entitled is used to test the web site to calculate the download speeds.