Mad Max: Fury Road.

The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia have confirmed today that local films enjoyed their best year ever at the BO in 2015, beating 2001's record of $63.4m.

2015 takings surpassed that mark in October, finishing at just over $88m. 

Successes included Mad Max: Fury Road ($21.7m), The Water Diviner ($10.15m in 2015/$15.87m cumulative), Oddball ($11.04m) and Paper Planes ($9.65m). 

The Dressmaker grossed $18.6m in 2015 and is still playing, while That Sugar Film took over $1.7m to become the highest grossing Australian documentary ever (excluding IMAX films).

Mad Max: Fury Road and The Dressmaker also made it into the top 20 films at the box office for the year (at #13 and #17 respectively) despite an incredibly competitive, franchise-packed market.

“Without doubt the record-breaking box office result for Australian films is proof that local audiences want to see their own stories and are happy to pay for the full cinema experience to enjoy those stories,” said CEO of Screen Australia Graeme Mason. 

“In a year when blockbusters like Star Wars were released, Australian film still delivered a 7.18% box office share, which is an outstanding result and should embolden local filmmakers. The popularity of family films is particularly notable, pointing to a new generation of cinema-goers having early exposure to Australian content.”

 “On behalf the Australian Government, Screen Australia is doing everything we can to keep this momentum going including through our Family Film Initiative, Gender Matters program and of course the continued administration of the offset and co-producer incentives.”

2015 was also the most successful year full stop at the local box office. A 14% increase from 2014 saw the 2015 box office close at $1,226,315,433, smashing the previous high of $1,128,498 in 2010. 

Chair of the MPDAA Jo Bladen said: “2015 was a remarkable year. Audiences flocked to the cinema in record numbers to enjoy a range of Australian and international films that featured quality storytelling and engaging, entertaining filmmaking. The year was capped off with the record-breaking release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is now the second highest-grossing film of all time in Australia and still going, demonstrating the power of the in-cinema, big screen experience.

“The fight against piracy is now more important than ever, and the distribution and exhibition communities continue to support efforts to protect creative intellectual property. The failure to enact strong copyright protections could ultimately inhibit the future of filmed entertainment.

“As we look ahead, we are thrilled that exhibitors continue to enhance the cinema experience through luxury options and state-of-the-art technology. With an incredible lineup of exciting films in 2016, we look forward to another great year at the movies.”

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