×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Increases Domination of Australian Box Office in 2017

Hollywood, and Disney in particular, dominated as theatrical box office in Australia dropped by 5% in 2017.

In local currency terms, Australian theaters saw A$1.20 billion (US$960 million) of business, down from A$1.26 billion (US$1.01 billion) in 2016, which had been the second successive record year. According to data from the Motion Picture Distributors’ Association of Australia, published Monday.

Australian-made films accounted for 4.1% of the market, with a combined total of A$49.4 million (US$39.5 million,) double the 2016 score of A$24.1 million (US$19.3 million). The largest component of the Australian total was “Lion,” which alone accounted for A$29.5 million (US$23.6 million). That is the fifth highest score ever by an Australian movie.

Disney-released films took the top four chart places in the annual ranking. “Beauty and the Beast” was the year’s top film with A$48 million (US$38.4 million,) ahead of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Universal’s “Despicable Me,” with A$32.9 million (US$26.3 million,) was the top non-Disney title. “Lion” ranked seventh.

The number of films getting a theatrical release rose to a record 696 million, of which 55 were Australian. The data, however, shows just six Australian films cracking the A$1 million (US$800,0000 mark at their home box office, and only 25 exceeding A$100,000 (US80,000).

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason, nevertheless lauded the Australian films’ performance. “2017 was a great year for Australian film and Lion in particular deserved not only its critical success, but its commercial success, which was derived from a well-planned, global strategy,” he said in comments on the Screen Australia website.

“The decade-long trend of indie films being squeezed into smaller releases continues, resulting in these films earning less at the box office. In 2007, (Hollywood) blockbusters took around 23% of the Australian box office, but ten years later they took over 50%…it’s not just Aussie films, but indie films from all countries that are feeling the pressure.

“For example, looking at the non-Australian best picture Oscar nominees in the period, you had “Manchester by the Sea” do A$3.1m (US2.48 million) in Australia, “Fences” did A$1.2m (US$960,000) and the category winner “Moonlight” on A$2.5m (US$2 million). All critically acclaimed, remarkable films doing significantly less box office than they would have a decade ago.

“These are the new rules in which we must compete, so at Screen Australia we’re not only looking for exceptional Australian stories, but stories with a considered path to audience at the cinema, and then beyond the cinema.”

“From an annual perspective, the 2017 Australian Box Office results have revealed that cinema-going is still one of the most popular forms of entertainment in this country and, despite economic flux and in the face of ever increasing leisure options, remains resilient,” said Mike Baard, chair of the MPDAA and MD of Universal Pictures Australasia.

More Film

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content