Australia and New Zealand celebrate record grosses in 2010

Columns

The 2010 box-office results for Australia and New Zealand are in, and there are some strong similarities between the two countries. Each had a record year, and in both cases box office was 4% above the 2009 figure. New Zealand box office was $NZ176.5 million, while the Australian result was $A1,128 million.

"It’s been a spectacular year," proclaimed Robert Crockett, president of the New Zealand Motion Picture Distributors Association. "The big screen offered an exceptionally diverse range of great films and fantastic new experiences which the New Zealand public has definitely embraced."

Commenting on the Australian results, Joel Pearlman, chairman of the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia, said, "Against the tide of another tough economic year, the film industry has produced a spectacular line-up of films that drew audiences into cinemas in record numbers.”

Avatar, released in 2009, was the top-grossing film for 2010 in both countries, but New Zealand had more success with local films. The Kiwi family comedy-drama Boy was the top-grossing 2010 release, taking NZ$9.23 million, well ahead of the next film, Inception with NZ$5.96 million.

Although the order was different, the top 10 titles were almost identical in both Australia and New Zealand: Avatar, Toy Story 3, Inception, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Alice In Wonderland, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Shrek Forever After, Iron Man 2 and Despicable Me. Sex and The City 2 took the ninth spot in Australia, but did not reach the Kiwi top 10.

Forty-one Australian films were released in the country last year, accounting for A$50.6 million and a market share of 4.5% The top-grossing local film was Tomorrow, When The World Began, which grabbed A$13.5 million, followed by the musical comedy Bran Nue Dae (A$7.7 million), with both Animal Kingdom and the comedy The Kings of Mykonos at A$4.9 million.

Seven cinemas have closed in Sydney since 1999, almost all single or twin-screened cinemas. The latest to shutter was the twin-screened Greater Union Mosman Cinema Centre, a suburban cinema about five kilometers north of the central business district. It opened in 1937 as a striking Art Deco cinema, the Kings Mosman, and had a variety of identities over the years, including the Classic Mosman and the Village Mosman, before being demolished in 1987 and replaced by a modern twin. The wonderful Cremorne Orpheum, an independent, multiplexed Art Deco cinema from around the same original period, is only one kilometer away and continues to attract very strong business.

E-mail your Australia/New Zealand news items to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.