Cinema box office in Australia dipped by 2% in 2019 to an annual total of A$1.23 billion, or $841 million, according to data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia. That was the country’s third highest figure in local currency terms, but it also shows the theatrical industry to be rangebound since 2015.
Australian-made films took over A$40m ($27.4 million) in 2019, down from A$57 million ($£9.0 million) in 2018. The MPDAA took comfort in confirming that three of the ten top grossing local films were directed by women. The highest was “Ride Like a Girl,” directed by Rachel Griffiths, which has taken A$11.7 million ($8.01 million) to date.
Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” was the highest grossing film in 2019, breaking box office records for opening day (A$10.3 million, $7.05 million) and for the opening weekend (A$34.1 million, $23.4 million). The film’s opening day was also the highest single-day box office on record in Australia.
“Although there are still many challenges posed by increasing alternative entertainment options, and the threat of piracy, Australia is still one of the healthiest cinema markets in the world in terms of average admission rates per capita,” said Brian Pritchett, chairman of the MPDAA, and MD of Paramount Pictures Australia.
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The MPDAA said that theatrical cinema is losing the battle against online piracy, and that it is having a hard time making its case. “Despite content being widely available at lower costs, the percentage of Australians consuming movies unlawfully grew in 2019. The distribution and exhibition communities face the ongoing challenge of demonstrating the impact of even occasional piracy on the local and global creative industries,” it said in a statement.