×

Australia Box Office Recovers, Grows 3.6% in 2018

Gross theatrical box office in Australia grew by 3.6% in 2018, to $890 million (A$1.25 billion). The score was propelled by a rebound in the performance of the top local films.

Data from the Motion Picture Distributors Assn. of Australia published Tuesday showed aggregate cinema revenues recovering after a dip in 2017. While the 2018 nationwide score is the second-highest on record, recent years are in a tight range, with 2015-2018 representing a plateau.

Australian-made films increased their share of the market, from 4.1% in 2017 to 4.5% in 2018. Their combined A$57.4 million (US$41 million) is the third-highest total on record. But data showed that just two titles – “Peter Rabbit” with A$26.7 million (US$19.1 million) and Ladies in Black” with A$12 million (US$8.58 million) – accounted for 70% of that. Some 39 out of the 61 Australian films released last year achieved less than A$100,000 (US$71,500), earlier MPDAA data show.

The MPDAA report showed that Australian cinemas are having to work harder to stand still. Average ticket prices fell from A$14.13 (US$10.22) in 2017 to A$13.86 (US$9.91) in 2018. And the number of titles released increased from 697 in 2017 to 758 in 2018, pointing to reduced mean revenues per film.

Popular on Variety

Hollywood-backed movies dominated again, with “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Incredibles 2,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” leading the pack. Films from the soon-to-be merged Disney and Fox studios took the top five chart places. Sony’s Australian-made “Peter Rabbit” placed 10th.

The MPDAA said that “audiences have voted with their feet” and shown continued support for an entrenched part of Australian culture. That view was supported by trends which show good support for theatrical cinema among the group of frequent attendees (defined as moviegoers who visit between once per month and once per two weeks).

It also showed a reduction in movie piracy. “The numbers of pirates and the frequency of pirate activity by teens and adults [declined],” the MPDAA said. Outside research by Creative Content Australia showed behavior and attitudes turning against the social acceptability of piracy.

More Film

  • They Call Me Dr. Miami

    Berlin: Cargo Film's Plastic Surgery Doc 'They Call Me Dr. Miami' Unveils Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety can exclusively reveal the trailer for “Playing Hard” director Jean-Simon Chartier’s feature documentary “They Call Me Dr. Miami,” which is being shopped to buyers at the EFM this week. Commissioned by Documentary Channel and set to bow at the Miami International Film Festival next month, the film follows Dr. Michael Salzhauer — also known [...]

  • The Call of the Wild

    Harrison Ford's 'Call of the Wild' Battles 'Sonic the Hedgehog' at Box Office

    “Sonic the Hedgehog” will have to worry about more than just a waxy mustached villain this weekend. Paramount’s family film will face box office competition from another kid-friendly adventure, Disney and 20th Century’s “The Call of the Wild.” Harrison Ford and a dog named Buck star in “The Call of the Wild,” the latest big-screen adaptation [...]

  • The Call of the Wild

    'Call of the Wild' Composer on How Music Became Protagonist Dog's Voice

    Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” ranks as one of the most famous books about a canine ever written. So director Chris Sanders knew that the composer of his film adaptation simply had to be a dog lover. Luckily, Sanders’ “How to Train Your Dragon” composer, John Powell, has two standard poodles. And when [...]

  • Terms and Conditions

    YouTube Drives Into Feature Doc Space With Brian Hill's 'Terms and Conditions' (EXCLUSIVE)

    YouTube is driving into the feature documentary space with a bold new film on drill music from one of the U.K.’s most celebrated documentarians. The controversial genre represented in the Brian Hill-directed “Terms and Conditions: A U.K. Drill Story” has become inadvertently associated with violence and knife-crime in the U.K., and marks a daring step [...]

  • Jennifer Lawrence Adam McKay

    Jennifer Lawrence to Star in Adam McKay's Netflix Comedy 'Don't Look Up'

    Jennifer Lawrence will star in Adam McKay’s upcoming film “Don’t Look Up,” a comedy set to debut on Netflix later this year. The movie, also written by McKay, follows two low-level astronomers who embark on media tour to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy planet Earth. “I’m so thrilled to make this [...]

  • UK Producers Roundtable co-founder Loran Dunn

    Why the U.K.'s Struggling Indie Film Business Is Only Getting Tougher

    A startling one-two punch of new statistics from the British Film Institute and industry body U.K. Producers’ Roundtable have revealed the stark challenges facing the country’s independent filmmakers.  After a BFI study published in late January revealed that spending on U.K. independent film production fell by 45% to £175 million ($228 million) in 2019, a [...]

  • Geena DavisVanity Fair Oscar Party, Arrivals,

    Universal Pictures Partners With Geena Davis Institute to Improve Latinx Representation

    Universal Pictures announced a one-year partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to improve on-screen representation and casting opportunities for the Latinx community. The program, titled Spellcheck for Bias, is being developed to analyze scripts, manuscripts and advertising briefs to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content