Chinan movies set new box office record

Michael Caton in Last Cab to Darwin, which has helped steer n movies to a record haul at the local box office. Damon Gameau, actor-turned director, whose That Sugar Film set a new record for a non-IMAX documentary. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Streets ahead: Mad Max: Fury Road is the biggest-grossing n movie of the year.

Family fave: Shane Jacobson in Oddball, which has now passed the $8 million mark.

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n cinema has bounced back, with local films setting a new record at the box office in this country on the weekend, and achieving their highest share of overall box office since 2001.

Total revenues for n movies at the n box office in 2015 now stand at $64.09 million, according to figures collected by the Motion Picture Distributors Association of . That passes the previous record of $63.4 million set in 2001 (note that these figures are not adjusted for inflation – for the adjusted figures, see table below).

The n share of box office is 6.8 per cent, also the highest since 2001, though a long way short of the all-time record of 23.5 per cent, set in 1986, the year in which Crocodile Dundee swept all before it, with a decent supporting turn from Malcolm.

This year’s figure is a little more than half a million dollars short of the combined totals of 2013 ($38.5 million) and 2014 ($26.2 million), years when n audiences stayed away from n movies in droves.

Screen chief Graeme Mason hailed this year’s result, and suggested that with Jocelyn Moorhouse’s eagerly anticipated The Dressmaker just around the corner, there was more to come.

“My prediction is that we’ll reach over $70 million by the end of 2015, setting a new benchmark.”

The new record was set over the weekend thanks to the continuing success of family film Oddball, whose box office has now passed $8.12 million, Blinky Bill ($$2.33 million) and Last Cab to Darwin ($7.14 million).

The biggest n film of the year by a long shot is George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, with receipts of $21.65 million. Next is Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner, which took $10.18 million this year (and a further $5.65 million last year, after its release on Boxing Day).

Damon Gameau’s That Sugar Film, with $1.71 million, this year set a new record for box office receipts for an n documentary (excluding IMAX films).

Mr Mason hailed the diversity of the films that had drawn ns back to the cinema this year. “We’ve seen films about nostalgia and heroism, good-humoured family larks, personal struggles and social conscience,” he said. “In a year that’s seen a lot of turmoil, ns have looked for stories that reflect their darker side as well as their care for social issues and their need to laugh.”

Richard Harris, head of business and audience at Screen , added that it was especially heartening that the industry was not “over relying on one film to bank your results” this year.

“What is clear to me is that each of these films had real clarity about the audience they were targeting,” he said. “I think there will be a lot of lessons learnt by filmmakers about the importance of doing that in the future.”n box office high points: dollars and shares

(NOTE: the figure in brackets is adjusted for inflation, as at June 2015, using the n Bureau of Statistics consumer price inflation calculator)

1982 $34.5 million ($110.37 million)Share: 16.4 per centMajor releases:The Man from Snowy River, Mad Max 2, The Year of Living Dangerously

1986 $44.4 million ($107.5 million)Share: 23.5 per centMajor releases:Crocodile Dundee, Malcolm

1988 $39.8 million ($83.56 million)Share: 17.8 per centMajor releases:Crocodile Dundee II, The Man From Snowy River II

1994 $46.6 million ($79.76 million)Share: 9.8 per centMajor releases:The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding, Lightning Jack

2001 $63.4 million ($90.39 million)Share: 7.8 per centMajor releases:The Bank, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Lantana, The Man Who Sued God, Moulin Rouge

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