59 Australian films were released in 2019 (36 of which were fiction) earning a total of $39.8 million according to Screen Australia and made 3.3% of the local box office for 2019.
They competed with 694 foreign films released in Australia that earned $1.09 billion. Four Aussie films did over $4 million, and it was a good year for the theatrical documentary with both 2040 and Mystify entering the all-time top 10 Australian feature documentaries. The 28 foreign blockbuster films released in Australia in 2019 were responsible for 60% of all cinema takings locally.
Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia said: “On the big screen, the market remains incredibly tough for indie films from all countries, so to have both Ride Like A Girl and Top End Wedding break-out was a great result. I was also particularly pleased to see three feature documentaries take over $1 million, and all subsequently licenced for broadcast. Special mention also to the team from Hotel Mumbai, which took over AUD$29.3 million internationally, representing an extraordinary commercial result for a mid-budget film.”
“The blockbuster domination of the cinema space is here to stay, and we continue to see even mainstream Academy Award and BAFTA Best Picture nominees struggling to get to $5 million in Australia. So whilst we will continue to see Australian films that can capture the $10+ million mark, they will be rare. Our films will absolutely continue to be made, but in terms of how producers monetise these works, it is an increasingly delicate dance between production budget size, distribution, marketing, and attracting international finance and audiences.”