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Cinema industry trends
admissions and key events, 1975 to present

Next update March 2017

Go back to the main diagram 
Year Admissions (m)1 Population (m) Admissions
per capita
 
    In 1975, colour television was introduced and by 1978 two-thirds of households in Sydney and Melbourne had colour sets. The new allure of colour television together with economic recession are cited as the primary causes of the 35 per cent drop in national cinema grosses in 1976 (Collins 1987, 264–265).
1976 28.9 14.0 2.1 In 1976-77, there were 884 cinemas in Australia, of which 280 were drive-ins and 219 were ‘hard tops’ (conventional cinema buildings) in the major cities. A UK-based journalist for Sight and Sound reported that cinema tickets at the top end were priced around £1.30 (sterling), approximately A$1.90–A$2.00. A letter to the editor from an Australian claimed that the average first-run ticket price was closer to $3.50 and by 1977 had increased to $4.00 (Sight and Sound, Winter 1976–77: 32; Sight and Sound, Winter 1977–78: 197). Video began to make its mark in Australia in the late 1970s. Since 1976, admissions numbers and gross box office have been compiled by the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA), see Box office: Admissions and gross box office.
1977 24.1 14.2 1.7
1978 34.1 14.4 2.4
1979 33.6 14.5 2.3
1980 38.6 14.7 2.6
1981 38.7 14.9 2.6
1982 42.0 15.2 2.8
1983 37.1 15.4 2.4
1984 28.9 15.6 1.9 By 1984, 26 per cent of Australian households had a video machine and this growth was to have a negative effect on cinema attendances in the mid to late 1980s (Collins 1987, 265; ACNielsen). See In the archive: Archive: Video equipment: Ownership of VCR and DVD players.
1985 29.7 15.8 1.9
1986 35.5 16.0 2.2
1987 30.8 16.3 1.9
1988 37.4 16.5 2.3
1989 39.0 16.8 2.3
1990 43.0 17.1 2.5
1991 46.9 17.3 2.7
1992 47.2 17.5 2.7
1993 55.6 17.7 3.1
1994 68.1 17.8 3.8
1995 69.9 18.0 3.9
1996 74.0 18.3 4.1
1997 76.0 18.5 4.1
1998 80.0 18.7 4.3
1999 88.0 18.9 4.6
2000 82.0 19.2 4.3
2001 92.5 19.5 4.7
2002 92.5 19.8 4.7
2003 90.0 20.1 4.5
2004 91.5 20.2 4.5
2005 82.2 20.5 4.0
2006 83.6 20.8 4.0
2007 84.7 21.2 4.0
2008 84.6 21.4 4.0
2009 90.7 21.9 4.1
2010 92.0 22.3 4.1
2011 85.0 22.6 3.8
2012 85.9 22.9 3.8
2013 82.0 23.1 3.5
2014 78.6 23.7 3.3
2015 90.3 24.0 3.8

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA). Population data from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). See About the data.

Notes:
1. Admissions are based on annual data released the following January; they do not reflect subsequent updates by the MPDAA.

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