Aussie movies down in revenue at 2010 box office

Australian films at last year’s local box office generated less money than in 2009, new statistics reveal.

Forty-one local films (nine less than in 2009) contributed $50.6 million (or 4.5 per cent) at cinemas last year – down from $54.8 million (5.0 per cent) – of the total $1.3 billion.

Tomorrow, When The War Began, Bran Nue Dae and Animal Kingdom rounded out the top three local films, which contributed half to the number alone ($26 million).

Other top movies of the year included Wog Boy sequel The Kings of Mykonos, animation blockbuster Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and World War I film Beneath Hill 60.

Earning more than $50 million the last two years, local content on the big screen has improved, with last year’s gross box office up 25 per cent on the 2005-2009 five-year average ($37.9 million). Screen Australia did not include 2009 in their five-year average [table below].

For the first time in more than a decade, nine Aussie films grossed more than $2 million.

“Once again, Australian audiences have embraced a wide range of stories in 2010,” Screen Australia CEO Ruth Harley said in a statement.

“Most importantly we saw films for all ages and tastes. It’s not easy to get the balance right but with special effects-laden action and animated adventure films through to comedy and crime in our top five, I believe in 2010 the industry did.”

Harley says there is much to be optimistic about, with local films also performing well overseas: Guardians has grossed more than $US101 million (more than 24 territories), Daybreakers earnt $US46 million (from 20 territories) and Bright Star took $US13 million (from 16 terrorities).