Paramount Pictures’ Australia/New Zealand managing director Michael Selwyn is confident future Australian films will achieve box office success – like Tomorrow, When The War Began.

“We treated [Tomorrow] exactly the same as we have treated Star Trek,” he said. “We had a long campaign…a lot of money. We showed clips early to exhibition – and that’s the point: exhibition bought in and turned it into a major commercial film.

“I think that’s where we’re going; I think there’s a chance for all of us to turn the Australian portion of the box office into something really significant. We’re now seeing Australian films coming through that can be genuine commercial successes.”

Selwyn’s comments during yesterday’s Australian International Movie Convention’s box office awards luncheon – when accepting the award for last year’s highest grossing Australian film: Tomorrow, When The War Began – are timely considering Red Dog’s $7.7 million gross since opening just three weeks ago.

Tomorrow raked in $13.5 million in Australia after it opened last September, however it failed to capture an overseas audience.

Selwyn said Omnilab Media – which largely funded the $27 million flick – “took a huge punt on the film” and that he was personally looking forward to the sequel. It was originally scheduled to shoot this year but has since been delayed.

Paramount has been a major supporter of Australlian films in recent years, alongside rival Roadshow. Directors Jonathan Teplitzky and Kimble Rendall both also presented footage from their upcoming Paramount-distributed films Burning Man and Bait at the distributor's AIMC session.

Meanwhile, several other films were presented with awards alongside Tomorrow, When The War Began at the convention. The winners were:

Palace Films Highest Grossing Foreign Language Film
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Rialto Distribution) – $3,122,065

The Dolby Highest Grossing Film in New Zealand
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 (Roadshow Films) – $7,570,533

The Real D Award for Highest Grossing 3D Film in Australia
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 (Roadshow Films) – $50million+ and still screening

The Award for Highest Grossing New Zealand Film
My Wedding and Other Secrets – $668,253

Hollywood Movie Money Award for Highest Grossing Australian Film
Tomorrow When the War Began (Paramount Pictures) – $13,508,899

Coca-Cola Gold Award for Highest Grossing Film
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 (Roadshow Films) – $50million+ and still screening

The News Limited Movie Marketer of the Year Award
The grand prize of a $250,000 advertising package was awarded to Universal Pictures for their Bridesmaids campaign.

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