Top four circuits in Australia take 60% of market
The top four film exhibitors, Hoyts, Village, Greater Union-Event and Reading, have increased their hold of the exhibition arena from 52.4% in 2009 to around 60% this year, according to a report by IBISWorld on cinemas in Australia. The report predicts growth of about 1.5% annually over the next five years, with 3D films expected to increase their share from 11.5% to 13.8%. Cinemas Down Under are earning 73.5% of their income from ticket sales, 19.7% from food and beverage, and the rest from other income sources including game machines, etc.
Nicole Kidman has returned to Australia to take the lead in the mystery drama Strangerland. The plot has Kidman and screen husband Joseph Fiennes’ marriage and lives going downhill after their two teenage daughters disappear in the Australian desert. Cop Hugo Weaving leads the search for the children. Filming has been taking place in several western Sydney suburbs, with the production set to move to Outback locations shortly. Kidman said, "I am always looing for the right script to bring me home to Australia. The moment I read Strangerland, I knew this was a film I couldn't say no to." This is her first independent Australian film since Dead Calm in 1989. It is an Australian/Irish co-production. Transmission films will release in Australia and New Zealand, with Wild Bunch handling world sales.
Paul Weigard and Tim Anderson started the Australasian independent distributor Madman in the bedroom of a share house. They first concentrated on manga video titles but soon expanded into art-film distribution as well. In 2006 they sold it to Toy confectionary and clothing company Funtastic. At that time Madman had annual revenue of A$36 million and a $6.1 million profit. With DVD sales slowing, Funtastic decided last year that it was time to sell the business. The buyers for Madman are original owners Weigard and Anderson, plus a number of investors. The buying price has been estimated to be between A$24 and $30 million. In a letter to staff, Paul and Tim said, "We are pretty damned chuffed to announce that Funtastic has agreed to sell the business back to us as part of a small consortium that has shared enthusiasm for Madman and the potential it holds." Madman is one of the major independent Down Under distributors without their own cinemas.
The tragedy of Malaysian Flight MH370 has had unexpected consequences for a proposed film. The synopsis for Deep Water says that a flight from Beijing to Sydney crashes in the Pacific Ocean and a group of survivors must battle giant tiger sharks. The film, which is only at script stage, has been put on hold at the present time.
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