January has proven to be a bumper month for Australia’s independent cinema sector with box office takings at the 258 indie locations up an impressive 5.5 percent – or more than $3.25 million – between December 26 and January 30 than the same period last year.

Benjamin Zeccola, Vice President of the Independent Cinemas Association of Australia, (ICAA) said: “Many of our members are enjoying the fruits of the especially high quality of films released in our cinemas over the Christmas/New Year period. It’s been a bumper year for audiences who appreciate a quality cinema experience.”

Mr Zeccola said that the release of Academy Award nominated films including 12 YEARS A SLAVE, PHILOMENA, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and THE GREAT BEAUTY, along with three films with strong Australian connections, THE RAILWAY MAN, THE BOOK THIEF and SAVING MR BANKS, had a significant positive impact of the results at independent cinemas.

“Given that the MPDAA (Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia) reported recently that the overall box office for 2013 across all cinemas dropped 2.3 percent, this January result for 2014 shows that we are on trend for a great year ahead,” Mr Zeccola said.

“In addition to the strong film titles on release, the fact that so many of our members have now made the conversion to digital allows them to be more flexible and nimble in their programming decisions, thereby better meeting the demands of their customers.”

Mr Zeccola added that the upcoming ICAA Annual Conference (April 29 – May 1) will have a focus on marketing to enable cinemas to build audiences and sustainable businesses in the digital era.

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