“The Great Gatsby” (WB)

HONG KONG – Annual box office in Australia dipped by 2% in 2013, — and nearly a fifth in US dollar terms — despite a record-breaking last weekend.

Cumulative takings were A$1.099 billion, compared with A$1.125 billion in 2012.

In local currency terms Australian box office has been on a plateau for the past four years with annual scores ranging from A$1.093 billion in 2011 to A$1.128 billion in 2010.

“Cinemagoing is still one of the most popular forms of entertainment [in Australia] and, despite economic flux and in the face of ever increasing leisure options, remains resilient,” the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia said in a statement. It also noted that Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of per head cinema attendance.

Viewed from Hollywood the picture looks different. In US dollar terms, the latest figure represents a significant downturn, given the fall of the Australian dollar from greater than parity to US$0.89 at present. Adjusted for the exchange rate movement, the figures represent a 17% fall – from US$1.17 billion in 2012 to US$978 million in 2013, when expressed in US dollar terms.

Iron Man 3” was the top film with a score of A$39 million, albeit a long way short of 2012’s top film “The Avengers” which topped A$53 million.

Baz Luhrmann’s Australian-made “The Great Gatsby” scored A$27.3 million, ranking it fifth in 2013, and making it the sixth highest grossing Australian film of all time.

The ‘Boxing Day’ final weekend of the year saw a B.O. cume of A$49.9 million, beating the previous A$47 million record of 7 July 2010.

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