Aus share of box office falls

29 March, 2010 by IF

By Brendan Swift

Australian feature films have posted a marginally stronger start at the box office compared to the previous year although their total share of the box office has fallen as global 3D blockbusters continue to lure audiences.


Baz Luhrmann's Australia accounted for almost 90 per cent of the $11.63 million taken by local films at the box office in the first quarter of 2009. The $12.01 million in the first quarter of this year has been largely spread across three films: Bran Nue Dae, Daybreakers and Bright Star.

However, the total Australian box office is up by about 22 per cent over the year to date, mainly due to the success of James Cameron's 3D epic Avatar, according to data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

Avatar has grossed almost $112 million in Australia and more than $1 billion worldwide, prompting several new films to be slated for 3D production or to be adapted to the format in the post-production process.

"If you take out Avatar, the box office is on par or slightly ahead of where it was this time last year," MPDAA general manager Rob Mages said.

Last year, Australian films accounted for $54.8 million or 5 per cent of the record $1.09 billion total box office – the highest domestic share since 2001. In that year, which included hits such as Moulin Rouge and Lantana, the Australian share hit 7.8 per cent

Several local films are expected to attract a wide release over the next two months including Beneath Hill 60, I Love You Too, Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos and Animal Kingdom.

However, there are significantly fewer films than the 50 released last year, which was the highest number of Australian films screened annually in over 25 years.

 Opening w/e
Screen avg (no. screens)
 Box Office

Bran Nue Dae
$294 (33)
$20m est.
$636 (2)
Bright Star
$16.7m est.
Girl Clock!
$1,389 (2)
Separation City
Going Vertical

The Pack/Blue Sea Films
$277 (14)



Source: MPDAA, INSIDEFILM. Bright Star released Dec 26, 2009 – tally does not include 2009 figures. Separation City is a New Zealand film.