Australian Film Industry Breaks Records in 2010 with the Biggest Revenues in a Decade

Canberra, Australia ( January 21, 2011

Australian Film Industry Breaks Records in 2010 with the Biggest Revenues in a Decade

Australian Film Industry Breaks Records in 2010 with the Biggest Revenues in a Decade

In 2010 there were nine Australian films grossing more than $2 million for the first time in over a decade. Tomorrow, When the War Began was the top-grossing local release in 2010, with Stuart Beattie’s adaptation of the first novel in John Marsden’s best-selling series achieving $13.5 million. Rachel Perkins’ musical comedy Bran Nue Dae followed with $7.7 million while Animal Kingdom and The Kings of Mykonos both earned $4.9 million each. The animated family adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole rounded out the top five with $4.8 million.

“Once again, Australian audiences have embraced a wide range of stories in 2010. Bran Nue Dae shows us that Indigenous filmmakers are going from strength to strength, attracting larger audiences than ever before,” said Ruth Harley, Screen Australia’s Chief Executive.

“Most importantly we saw films for all ages and tastes. It’s not easy to get the balance right but with special effects–laden action and animated adventure films through to comedy and crime in our top five I believe in 2010 the industry did.”

The 403 films screened in Australian cinemas in 2010 grossed $1.13 billion, making last year’s box office the highest on record. Of those films, 41 were Australian, accounting for $50.6 million or 4.5 per cent of the total, according to Screen Australia analysis of Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA) data.

With earnings above $50 million over the last two years, the box office for Australian films has marked a significant improvement on recent years. In 2010, the gross box office was up 73 per cent on the five-year average 2004–2008.

In addition to domestic earnings, Australian films have performed particularly well internationally over the last two years. According to data from the International Film and Television Association, Knowing grossed US$159.7 million from 25 territories and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole has grossed above US$101 million over 24 territories to date, excluding Australia. Daybreakers followed earning more than US$46 million from 20 territories with Bright Star taking US$13 million from 16 territories.

“It was great to see the release of Australia’s Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole in 3D. This is an area of obvious interest, given the increasing popularity of the format and its propensity to attract premium ticket prices. The local industry is certainly beginning to carve out a niche in the 3D format. Next month we can expect the release of Sanctum from executive producer James Cameron and director Alister Grierson in his follow up to the 2006 feature Kokoda, which I think holds great promise,” continued Dr Harley.

“We’ve got quality films that audiences are enjoying at the local box office and we’ve got films performing in the international marketplace comparable with the best indie films from around the world. There is much to be optimistic about,” concluded Dr Harley.

Box office facts and figures

The 41 Australian films screening in 2010 earned $50.6 million during the year, representing 4.5 per cent of the total box office.

The majority of Australian films screened had a Limited (up to 20 prints) or Specialty (up to 100 prints) release strategy. Notably, the eight Specialty films achieved 13.9 per cent of the box office in this category, compared with 13 films from the UK that took a 10.3 per cent share.

There were 10 Australian films that had releases of more than 100 prints, and all but one of the top five earning films had a Wide (200–399 prints) release – Animal Kingdom was a Specialty release (20–99 prints). There were no Australian films with a Blockbuster (400+ prints) release.

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