In 2001 Australian films at the cinemas collected a mammoth $63.4 million, a figure that would persist for over a decade until last week.
Congratulations guys! Thanks to YOU going to cinemas and purchasing a ticket you’ve made 2015 the new year to beat. $64 million dollars have gone towards tickets to films made by Aussie men and women. It’s predicted we’ll hit $70 million before the year is over, with big release The Dressmaker starring The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth and Titanic‘s Kate Winslet yet to hit the screens.
For every $100 spent at the cinema $6.80 went into the pockets of Australian directors, actors, screenwriters, cinematographers and everybody else that works on a film.
Funnyman Carl Baron’s foray into feature films kicks off the top ten with Manny Lewis at $41,000, followed closely by Brendan Cowell’s stirring play-turned-feature Ruben Guthrie in ninth with $42,000. Book adaptations fill eighth and seventh – gay memoir Holding The Man earns a smidge over a million bucks while doco That Sugar Film capitalise on the buzz of the lifestyle book to the tune of $1.7 million.
Right along meat pies, thongs and barbecues is Blinky Bill, now in 3D for a whole new generation. Parents happily parted with $2.32 million to see Blinky Bill reunite with Nutsy and Flap over the September holidays. It collected a further $423,000 this week so expect that number to beef up a little yet.
Last Cab to Darwin, in fifth place with $7.1 million, earns more than movies #6 – #10 combined. The jewel of the Sydney Film Festival for 2015 stars legend Michael Caton and takes a poignant look at aging, Alzheimers and loneliness.
Back to the kids’ flicks with Oddball, still in cinemas, that is plain old adorable. Shane Jacobson, a big hairy dog and bunch of penguins that are normally housed at Sea World unite for hilarious hijinks. Smiles all around with $8.1 million. Paper Planes, starring Australia’s newest export Ed Oxenbould, gets third place with $9.65 million. Since Paper Planes he’s filmed stateside alongside Hollywood heavyweights Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner for Disney‘s Alexander and the Terrible, Very Bad, No Good Day and worked with Sixth Sense director M Night Shyamalan for The Visit.
At home Russel Crowe’s early year release of ANZAC period piece The Water Diviner sits in the silver slot with $10.1 million. It was also Crowe’s directorial debut. He returns to Hollywood with The Nice Guys, starring Ryan Gosling, after starring roles in Noah, Man of Steel and Les Miserables.
Nothing can hold a candle to the highest grossing movie in Australia. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD collects a phenomenal $21.6 million at the Australian box office alone and $374 million worldwide, surpassing the worldwide gross of the iconic Crocodile Dundee’s $328 million. Originally intended to be filmed in rural New South Wales, the extended car chase film was forced to translate to Africa.
It’s so rare for a film to be a critical and a commercial hit. Two more films are on the drawing board with Australian-born Millar keen to return (as long as he doesn’t get the Man of Steel 2 gig). Stars Tom Hardy, Charlise Theron and Nicolas Hoult are locked in and a script is in its final stages.
Here’s the list in full.
- Mad Max Fury Road: $21.65 million
- The Water Diviner: $10.18 million
- Paper Planes: $9.65 million
- Oddball: $8.12 million
- Last Cab to Darwin: $7.15 million
- Blinky Bill The Movie: $2.32 million
- That Sugar Film: $1.71 million
- Holding the Man: $1.14 million
- Ruben Guthrie: $0.42 million
- Manny Lewis: $0.41 million
And here’s a quote from Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason:
“As well as being the major funding agency, we’re also very personally invested in the films we assist in getting to screens. We often work closely with film makers over the many years it takes to refine concepts and scripts, resolve issues during production, get the best possible deals and support distribution and marketing efforts.
“We know first-hand just how resilient, patient and talented the Australian film industry is, and we’re proud to play a role in helping it thrive. This year we’ve seen enormous success across the entire screen industry encompassing film, TV and digital narrative content. And it’s a particularly big success given that distribution is in such a state of flux at the moment and the sector is facing significant challenges”
Well done Australia.
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