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Guide reveals Aussie auds

SYDNEY – Overseas sales of Australian films and TV product are riding a steep upward curve, while Aussies are watching more screened entertainment, according to an Australian Film Commission book launched today. “Get the Picture: An Essential Guide to Australian Film, Television, Video and New Media,” edited by Rosemary Curtis and Cathy Gray, paints a bullish picture of the Australian filmed entertainment industries at home and abroad.

Among its findings:

* Royalties from exports of film, TV and video product collectively jumped by nearly 60% between 1989-90 and 1994-95; sales of TV programs doubled in that period.

* Last year, some 72% of people aged 35-49 visited a cinema at least once, compared with just 50% of that demo in 1984.

* An estimated 865,000 CD-ROM drives were installed in Australia in 1995; nearly one home in four has a games console, used for an average of 30 minutes daily.

* The nation has produced more than 570 feature films since 1970, at an average annual output of 14 during the ’70s, 30 in the ’80s, and 25 in the ’90s.

* At least one Oz film has been selected for official competition in the Cannes Film Festival in 18 of the past 20 years.

* The national B.O. totaled A$502 million ($396 million) in 1995, repping ticket sales of nearly 70 million – the eighth consecutive year of growth.

* Some 83% of households have at least one VCR, and 16% have two or more.

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