By Simon de Bruyn

Baz Luhrmann’s saturation marketed Australia was easily and unsurprisingly the box office champ among Australian films released in 2008.

However, for a clearer picture of how well Australian films have been performing in cinemas it’s worth looking at the films in its wake.

Known budgets have been added following reader requests.

Australia $37,232,340 $150,000,000
The Black Balloon $2,258,163 $4,000,000
Children of the Silk Road  (co-pro) $1,165,962 $18,000,000
Unfinished Sky $966,160 $4,300,000
Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger $843,029 $6,000,000
Death Defying Acts  (co-pro) $713,741 $20,000,000
Dying Breed $525,384 $3,000,000
The Square $317,914  
Newcastle $213,563 $3,000,000
Cactus $160,934 $1,200,000
Son of a Lion $124,668 $485,000
Black Water $111,989 $1,200,000
Men’s Group $67,184 $1,000,000
The Tender Hook $64,232 $7,000,000
Ten Empty $49,015 $1,000,000
Crooked Business $27,804 $2,000,000
Global Haywire $21,926  
Bitter & Twisted $12,555 $200,000
The View From Greenhaven $6,648 $1,000,000
Broken Sun $5,089 $50,000
Monkey Puzzle $3,236 $1,000,000
Salute $198,758 $1,850,000
Not Quite Hollywood $186,986  
Night $94,196  
Rock N Roll Nerd $33,350  
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in 12 Parts $26,768  
Celebrity: Dominick Dunne $21,427           $560,000
Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean $3,209  
Lionel $1,697  

Note: We acknowledge box office returns do not equate to profit or cash return to the filmmakers, and could be considered an arbitrary measure of a film’s success. For example, Black Water is now a profitable film, based on sales to 85 or so territories rather than its local box office. However, its the best independent measure we have to assess a film’s financial success.

Sony Pictures has been reportedly circulating the list with their 2007 release Gabriel slotted into the table. This film is a 2007 release and should not be listed among these 2008 releases.

This list has been compiled over the course of 2008/09 by INSIDEFILM. All box office numbers are taken from MPDAA stats, current as of Monday 12 January, and apply to Australian films that had a theatrical release in 2008 – and reported their numbers. Budgets are based on previously reported figures. All figures are in Australian dollars.