• Finding Dory and Deadpool the biggest hits, Hacksaw Ridge #1 Australian release
• 84% of Australians go to the cinema – many of them at least once a week
The latest MPDAA statistics confirm another successful year for Australian cinema box office, surpassing the record set in 2015. The A$1,259,337,000 2016 box office cume was an increase of 2.69% on the previous year.
Finding Dory took line honours, closing 2016 at $48.56m, followed by Deadpool at $43.27m.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story closed 2016 at $36.39m after only two weeks in cinemas, as SuicideSquad ($34.27m), Captain America: Civil War ($33.73m) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($31.20m) took the #4, #5 and #6 slots in the top 10 films for the year.
In seventh position, Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued to be a force to be reckoned with, taking $31.15m. The other top performing films of the year were The Jungle Book ($29.78m) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($29.68m).
Rounding out the Top 10 films, The Secret Life of Pets ($29.56m) drew young and young-at-heart Australians into cinemas.
Australian films took $24m at the box office in 2016 with Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge booking $8.60m in Australia, over $200m globally, dominating the AFI/AACTA awards and gathering momentum for international awards in 2017.
Red Dog: True Blue accrued $1.59m from Boxing Day to NY’s eve and has now reached over $6.7m. TheDressmaker continued its 2015 success, making $1.72m in 2016 for a cume of $20.28m.
2017 promises an eventful year for local films, kicking off with Lion taking over $5m – the fifth biggest opening weekend for an Australian film.
Three Australian documentaries managed to find a place in an increasingly crowded cinema schedule, earning them a spot on the list of top grossing Australian documentaries (excluding IMAX): Jen Peedom’s Sherpa ($1.27m #3), Taryn Brumfitt’s Embrace ($1.1m #5) and Eva Orner’s Chasing Asylum ($576k #8).
Groundbreaking cinema research showed that 84% of Australians go to the cinema – many of them at least once a week. 60% are more likely to watch a movie at the cinema than in any other way aside from free to air television, acknowledging that “there’s nothing like seeing a movie on the big screen”.
Jo Bladen, chair of the MPDAA and general manager, studios, (Australia & NZ), The Walt Disney Company, said, “The year’s diverse lineup has proven to be much stronger than any previous year and demonstrates that cinema continues to provide a great value out-of-home experience for a broad audience, even in the face of an ever-increasing choice of leisure options.
“However, there are still a number of challenges to be faced, including the continuing battle with copyright theft which eats at the heart of the creative community. We will continue to work with government, other industry sectors and legislative authorities in 2017 and beyond, to ensure the future of the cinema experience.”
Commenting on the 2016 results, she said, “Australian audiences confirmed their love of cinema in 2016. And, with the first week of January recording the highest ever weekly box office, cinemas improving technology, seating and booking options and distributors signalling an extraordinary range of great films, 2017 promises to be another great year at the movies.”