Australia

Increased competition crowds already tight market

RECENT PICKUPS
· How Much Do You Make (Palace)
· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)
· Keeping Mum (Icon)
· Last Days (Rialto)
· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch)
2004 STATS
Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)
Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)
Total B.O.: $703 million
Releases: 319
Screens: 1,909

SYDNEY — With box office down 14% compared with this time last year, distribs and exhibs Down Under are concerned the trend will continue, especially arthouse folk who traditionally do their best business January through Easter.

“The year has been average to disappointing so far,” says Palace Cinemas general manager Nicolas Whatson. “I Heart Huckabees” and “Sideways” performed well but “we’re missing strong blockbuster arthouse titles like ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.’ Films like ‘A Very Long Engagement’ just didn’t achieve the success we’d hoped for.”

Dendy Distribution co-general manager Richard Peyten says the downturn is due to weak product, but “it has probably got something to do with home entertainment and DVD, too.”

The growth of home entertainment has emboldened some DVD distribs to enter theatrical distribution. They want a slice of theatrical revs and the benefit of the publicity of a bigscreen release before a title heads to disc. As a result, there are more distribs crowding an already tight market in the competition for screens and prized dates.

In some cases, such as DV1’s release of “Outfoxed,” the distrib hit’s a bull’s eye. But, in general, Whatson believes that the crowding results in confusion and anger among auds suckered into seeing poor-quality pics.

Sales of arthouse films to commercial broadcasters remains difficult, but some nets are letting their acquisition deals lapse, giving hope of improved sales opportunities to independent distribs.

More Scene

  • Debra MessingProject Angel Food honoring Debra

    'Will & Grace': Debra Messing Talks David Schwimmer's Guest Role

    RECENT PICKUPS · How Much Do You Make (Palace)· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)· Keeping Mum (Icon)· Last Days (Rialto)· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch) 2004 STATS Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)Total B.O.: $703 millionReleases: 319Screens: 1,909 SYDNEY — […]

  • David Harbour'Stranger Things' event, Los Angeles,

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Is Inspired by 1985's 'Fletch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    RECENT PICKUPS · How Much Do You Make (Palace)· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)· Keeping Mum (Icon)· Last Days (Rialto)· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch) 2004 STATS Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)Total B.O.: $703 millionReleases: 319Screens: 1,909 SYDNEY — […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg

    Jeffrey Katzenberg on Oscars' New Popular Film Category Controversy

    RECENT PICKUPS · How Much Do You Make (Palace)· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)· Keeping Mum (Icon)· Last Days (Rialto)· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch) 2004 STATS Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)Total B.O.: $703 millionReleases: 319Screens: 1,909 SYDNEY — […]

  • Ruth Wilson

    'The Affair's' Ruth Wilson Stays Mum on Controversial Exit

    RECENT PICKUPS · How Much Do You Make (Palace)· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)· Keeping Mum (Icon)· Last Days (Rialto)· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch) 2004 STATS Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)Total B.O.: $703 millionReleases: 319Screens: 1,909 SYDNEY — […]

  • CULVER CITY, CA - AUGUST 16:

    'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' Star Lana Condor on Bringing More Diversity to Movies

    RECENT PICKUPS · How Much Do You Make (Palace)· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)· Keeping Mum (Icon)· Last Days (Rialto)· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch) 2004 STATS Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)Total B.O.: $703 millionReleases: 319Screens: 1,909 SYDNEY — […]

  • Samantha Barks, Andy Karl'Pretty Woman: The

    'Pretty Woman' Broadway Cast Recalls Performing for Julia Roberts

    RECENT PICKUPS · How Much Do You Make (Palace)· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)· Keeping Mum (Icon)· Last Days (Rialto)· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch) 2004 STATS Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)Total B.O.: $703 millionReleases: 319Screens: 1,909 SYDNEY — […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg Lew Wasserman

    Jeffrey Katzenberg Remembers Being Mentored by Lew Wasserman

    RECENT PICKUPS · How Much Do You Make (Palace)· Inside Deep Throat (Dendy)· Keeping Mum (Icon)· Last Days (Rialto)· Mrs. Henderson Presents (Hopscotch) 2004 STATS Top film: Shrek 2 (UIP, $39 million)Top indie film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Roadshow Films, $23.5 million)Total B.O.: $703 millionReleases: 319Screens: 1,909 SYDNEY — […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content