Market share plunges for Australian films

11 November, 2014 by Don Groves

Australian films’ share of the national box-office this year is destined to fall well short of last year’s 3.5% and the 10-year average of 3.8%.

Through last Sunday the 31 local features and documentaries released this year, plus around 20 titles that carried over from 2013 or earlier years, had racked up $19.6 million.


The year-to-date gross is $908.9 million so that represents a market share of 2.18%. Still to come are Paul Fenech's comedy Fat Pizza vs Housos (November 27), Jon Hewitt’s Turkey Shoot reboot and Jim Lounsbury’s mystery drama Love is Now (both December 4) and Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner (Boxing Day).

So by year’s end the market share will probably be the lowest since 2004’s 1.3%.

Last year Aussie films and docs accumulated $38.5 million, boosted by The Great Gatsby’s $27.4 million. This year only The Railway Man (which launched on Boxing Day), Wolf Creek 2 and Tracks surpassed $2 million and no other title cracked $1 million.

As IF has pointed out, Australian theatrical returns should not be deemed the sole arbiter of any film’s success or otherwise. This has been a particularly strong year for international sales for a raft of titles including Son of a Gun, Felony, The Rover, The Little Death, Kill Me Three Times, Lion, The Dressmaker, Charlie’s Country, The Babadook, 52 Tuesdays, My Mistress and Maya the Bee Movie.

On paper the 2015 line-up looks more diverse and potentially more commercial, with The Water Diviner, Robert Connolly’s Paper Planes and George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road among the stand-outs.

The slate includes psychological thrillers Backtrack, Cut Snake, Kill Me Three Times and Downriver; dramas The Daughter, Strangerland, Last Cab to Darwin, Manny Lewis, Sucker and The Dressmaker; comedies Now Add Honey and Oddball; sci-fi thrillers Infini and Terminus, vampire horror/comedy Wyrmwood and feature documentary Women He’s Undressed.

View our latest box office graph here