The Australian film industry has produced a record-breaking performance in the competition for box office share in 2000. Australian films earned $54.2 million (8 per cent) of the total Australian box office of $689.5 million in 2000.
This result is the highest total ever - more than double last year's result.
The top grossing Australian films for 2000 were The Dish ($16,880,893), The Wog Boy ($11,448,547), Looking For Alibrandi ($8,300,454),Chopper ($5,718,014) and Me Myself I ($2,698,330). The Dish was placed 6th in the Top Ten grossing films of the year.
The box office performance of Australian films compares favourably with domestic box office results of other non-US film producing nations. France was down to below 30%, a fall from 1999's 32.4%, Italy dropped from 27% to 14% in 2000, Norway slid to a 30-year low of 6.6% after 1999's 8.8% and Spain posted its worst result since 1996 with 9.6%. The UK was the exception with a market share rising to 20% on the back of hits such as Billy Elliot.
Kim Dalton, Chief Executive of the Australian Film Commission said: "Our film industry is to be congratulated for producing a range of exciting films which have achieved box office success as well as critical acclaim. The box office share of Australian films has more than doubled, despite the continued domination of our cinema by Hollywood and our comparatively limited film budgets. There is no doubt that Australians want to see Australian films."
A total of 250 films were released in the Australian market in 2000. Of the 22 Australian releases, 18 were feature films and four were documentaries. Eight Australian films earned over a million dollars each in 2000, compared to five in 1999, nine in 1998, and five or six titles a year between 1991 and 1997.
The Australian films released took an average of $2.4 million each. The average result for the 28 UK films released here was well below this at $1.4 million each; the 32 foreign films (non-UK/US) fetched on average only $534,483 per film.
In an Olympic year when the world was focussed on Australia's sporting achievements, Australia's cinematic talent has also caught the world's attention, by playing major roles in some of the most successful films of 2000. Russell Crowe starred in Gladiator, number one at the box office around the world, and was nominated for an Academy Award for The Insider. Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger starred in The Patriot while Hugh Jackman was a lead in X-Men. Number two film for the year Mission Impossible II was largely filmed here with an Australian crew and a number of Australian stars including John Polson and Richard Roxborough. Cate Blanchett featured in The Talented Mr Ripley, Ben Mendelsohn in Vertical Limit and Toni Collette in Shaft. Acclaimed Australian director Bruce Beresford created the worldwide hit Double Jeopardy.
2001 promises to be another exciting year for Australian film. Significant forthcoming Australian releases include Clara Law's The Goddess of 1967, Baz Luhrmann's ambitious musical Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, and He Died with a Felafel in his Hand, the film version of John Birmingham's cult novel. Presently in production are also Phillip Noyce's Rabbit Proof Fence, Ray Lawrence's Lantana, Paul Hogan's Crocodile Dundee III and The Man who Sued God starring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis.
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