×
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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • A Hidden Life Movie Austria

    Film News Roundup: Austin Festival Selects Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    In today’s film news roundup, the Austin Film Festival selects a Terrence Malick title, “A Day Without a Mexican” gets a sequel and DCR Finance signs a first-look deal. FESTIVAL SCREENING The Austin Film Festival will screen Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” which won the Francois Chalais and Ecumenical Jury awards at the Cannes Film [...]

  • Blake Lively

    Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Moved Back to 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved the release date of Blake Lively’s “The Rhythm Section” back two months from Nov. 22 to Jan. 31, 2020, the weekend of Super Bowl LIV. The spy tale, adapted from Mark Burnell’s novels surrounding character Stephanie Patrick, is produced by James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson through their [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    'The Mandalorian': Watch the First Trailer for 'Star Wars' Series

    The gunslinging lone warrior — the Mandalorian, as they call him — calls the far reaches of the “Star Wars” galaxy home. Disney dropped the first trailer for the spinoff series during its biennial D23 convention on Friday, finally giving fans a closer look at the franchise’s newest character. “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau, who [...]

  • Lady and the Tramp trailer

    'Lady and the Tramp': Disney's Live-Action Remake Gets First Trailer (Watch)

    Ready your dog-friendly bowl of spaghetti, Disney has debuted the first trailer for its live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux. The teaser was released during Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim at the Disney + presentation. In addition to Thompson and Theroux, who play the Lady and Tramp, respectively, [...]

  • Mickey Mouse waves to members of

    Spider-Man, Spicer and Splashy First-Looks: Everything We're Looking For at D23

    As if Disney hasn’t owned enough weekends this year at the box office, the biennial D23 Expo will light up Anaheim, Calif. over the next three days to celebrate the content monolith. From a new Netflix-competing streaming platform to scores of movie and series reveals — along with a few hot controversies to confront — [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    'Angel Has Fallen' to Dominate Modest Box Office With $20 Million Weekend

    Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman are leading the way at the North American box office with “Angel Has Fallen” on its way to about $20 million, early estimates showed Friday. Should forecasts hold, “Angel Has Fallen” will take in about double the next title, Universal’s second weekend of raunchy comedy “Good Boys” with about $10 [...]

  • Aracne

    Sanfic Standout ‘Aracne’ Filmmakers Discuss the State of Chilean Genre

    A key project at this year’s Santiago Lab, the Santiago Intl. Film Festival industry forum for promising Latin American projects, Florencia Dupont’s “Aracne” is representative of a push from the next generation of Chilean filmmakers into genre cinema and the themes it can explore. “Aracne” turns on Beatriz, a young journalist at a small Santiago [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content