The Australian theatrical box office dropped by 2.3% for the second successive year. In U.S. dollar terms the drop was a more dramatic 11%.
Total theatrical receipts from the 505 films released in 2014 was A$1.07 billion, according to date from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia. In 2013 the total had been A$1.10 billion, down from the record A$1.13 billion in 2012.
Given the recent strength of the U.S. currency in comparison with most other monies, in U.S. dollar terms the 2014 Australian B.O. take fell from US$976 million in 2013 to US$873 million in 2014.
Without a major hit for the local industry, market share for Australian films is understood to have dropped to less than 2.4%. The MPDA did not provide figures. Top Australian film of the year was Russell Crowe’s “The Water Diviner,” which took A$5.7 million in its six days of release during the calendar year.
Top films of 2014 were “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” from Roadshow Films which grossed A$32.8 million, followed by substantially Australian-made animated film “The Lego Movie,” with A$29.8 million, and Paramount’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in third place with a gross of A$26.9 million.
“Up against the comparable U.S. and United Kingdom market results, the Australian market has performed well and shown great resilience. 2015 is shaping up to be one of the biggest and most exciting years in the film industry with the most formidable line-up seen for some time,” said MPDAA chairman Stephen Basil-Jones.
He warned however that piracy represents a growing threat to the theatrical business. “Piracy amongst adults is increasing and that around one in four Australians, aged 12 – 64 years old, accesses infringing film and TV content from pirate websites,” Basil-Jones said in a statement.