Australian films reach five per cent of national box office revenue

Mao's Last DancerAustralian films took a 5.02 percent share at the local box office in 2009 ($54.8m), up on the five-year average of 4 percent and the best since 2001 (7.8 percent), according to an analysis by Screen Australia.

The box office results represent an increase of 1.4 million admissions, for a total of 4.6m.

Screen Australia’s analysis of Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA) data revealed that the 50 Australian films released during 2009 was the highest number  in more than 25 years.

Only five of those had releases wider than 100 prints; the rest were limited (up to 20 prints) and specialty release strategies (up to 100) and made up 17.8 and 13.3 percent of the box office respectively in their corresponding release categories.

In a press release, Screen Australia CEO Ruth Harley said that Australian audiences embraced the diversity of stories produced by Australian filmmakers.

“The top five films provide a snapshot of the impressive array of genres on offer in 2009 across all release categories, from the confronting, yet ultimately uplifting, drama depicted in Samson & Delilah ($3.2m) and Mao’s Last Dancer ($15m), to the romance of Australia ($10.6 in 2009, in addition to $27m in 2008), the laughter of Charlie & Boots ($3.9m) and the special effect–driven action of Knowing ($7.6m),” Harley said.

It should be noted that Knowing is a special case; according to its director Alex Proyas, it was not eligible for the Producer Offset and it is unclear if it did get a final certificate at some point, but Screen Australia decided to consider the film and its $7.6m Australian for survey purposes.


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