Box office for Australian films pulls ahead of 2017

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Day and Date Down Under

As of Nov. 1, Australian films had earned A$54 million at the local box office. This puts the result ahead of 2017, when the full year managed just under A$50 million. Top films have been Peter Rabbit with A$26.7 million and Ladies in Black at A$11 million and counting. Exhibitors are bullish that 2019 will also be a good year for local films.

There is a lot of filming happening in Australia at the moment. 

Word down under is that the new Godzilla vs. Kong is about to start filming on the Gold Coast. The film stars Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Ziyi Zhang and Alexander Skarsgård. The Adam Wingard-directed film is due for release mid-2020. Meanwhile, the New Zealand film community is hoping that Disney's new live-action Peter Pan will be filmed there, and are awaiting confirmation.

Tilda Cobham-Hervey has been cast as world superstar Helen Reddy in the new biopic I Am Woman. Filming is about to start in Australia, where Reddy was born. Also starring is Evan Peters as her troubled manager Jeff Wald, under the direction of Unjoo Moon.

A new Mad Max film is seemingly a while off at the moment, but Aussie director George Miller is not waiting around. He is preparing a fantasy romance entitled Three Thousand Years of Longing with Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. The plot is being kept under wraps, and no announcement has been made about the filming locations.

In 2016 it was announced that Guy Pearce would star in the action-thriller High Ground, but the film did not get off the ground at that time. Now filming has begun, and the stars are Simon Baker, Callan Mulvey, Jack Thompson and Aaron Pederson, with Stephen Johnson directing in Northern Australia. Newcomer Jacob Jnr Nayinggul makes his debut as an Aboriginal tracker helping hunt down an outlaw in the wilds of the territory.

A group of asylum seeker detainees are blackmailed into Fight Club-style bouts in an immigrant detention center in the new action drama Below. Maziar Lahoot will start filming in January in Western Australia with Ryan Corr (Ladies in Black) and Anthony LaPaglia.

Birch Carroll & Coyle (a division of Event Cinemas) are closing their five-plex in the center of Darwin. Event Cinemas will continue to operate their suburban complexes in Darwin, one under the Event Cinemas brand and the other Birch Carroll & Coyle.

Thanks to Film Journal International for 85 years. We will miss you down under.