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Australian feature film production activity

Number produced, total production budgets and average budget per film (current* and 2015 dollars), 1970/71–2014/15

Next update March 2017

* Dollar value as per each year specified (ie not adjusted for inflation)

Over the past four decades Australia has built a solid feature production industry. The average number of Australian features produced annually has grown from 14 films per year in the 1970s to 30 films in the 1980s, 27 films in the 1990s and 31 films in the first decade of the 2000s.

Converted to 2015 dollars, total production budgets for Australian feature films averaged around $25 million annually in the 1970s, increasing to over $170 million during the 1980s and 1990s, and increasing further to $261 million in the 10 years to 2009/10.

The total budgets for Australian features can fluctuate annually, due largely to the impact of a small number of foreign-financed, usually high-budget, features. In 2008/09, the total production budgets figure was the highest on record ($448 million in 2015 dollars), principally because of the high-budget titles Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and Happy Feet Two. More recently, results were boosted by films such as The Great Gatsby (2011/12), Mad Max: Fury Road (2012/13) and Gods of Egypt (2013/14).

With no high-budget, studio-financed films starting production in 2014/15, total production budgets dropped to $129 million.

The average budget for Australian features has risen in each decade since the 1970s. In the 1970s it was $1.74 million (in 2015 dollars), which more than tripled to $5.73 million during the 1980s, and grew to $6.66 million in the 1990s and $8.62 million in the first decade of the 2000s.

 

No. productions and total budgets, 1970/71–2014/15

     


Graph: Number of Australian features produced and total budgets, 1970/71-2014/15. The table following provides the data.
  No. per year Total budgets per year Average budget per film
Current ($m)* 2015 ($m)1 Current ($m)* 2015 ($m)1
1970/71 10 2 18 0.17 1.80
1971/72 9 1 9 0.10 0.98
1972/73 6 <1 4 0.07 0.71
1973/74 14 3 27 0.23 1.93
1974/75 14 3 18 0.18 1.25
1975/76 19 6 34 0.30 1.81
1976/77 19 7 35 0.34 1.82
1977/78 17 8 36 0.44 2.14
1978/79 18 7 32 0.39 1.77
1979/80 17 9 36 0.51 2.14
Total 70/71–79/80 143 44 249
Annual av. 70/71–79/80 14 4 25 0.27 1.74
1980/81 30 37 139 1.23 4.64
1981/82 28 47 157 1.68 5.61
1982/83 21 43 129 2.05 6.14
1983/84 21 34 97 1.64 4.61
1984/85 34 78 210 2.30 6.18
1985/86 42 91 230 2.16 5.48
1986/87 30 83 197 2.78 6.57
1987/88 40 101 225 2.53 5.61
1988/89 21 47 95 2.23 4.55
1989/90 34 141 269 4.14 7.90
Total 80/81–89/90 301 702 1,748
Annual av.80/81–89/90 30 70 175 2.33 5.73
1990/91 27 113 207 4.19 7.66
1991/92 29 79 143 2.74 4.92
1992/93 22 58 103 2.63 4.68
1993/94 28 141 249 5.05 8.89
1994/95 15 43 74 2.85 4.94
1995/96 23 89 149 3.86 6.48
1996/97 33 131 217 3.97 6.57
1997/98 35 165 269 4.71 7.69
1998/99 29 117 190 4.05 6.57
1999/00 27 141 222 5.21 8.23
Total 90/91–99/00 268 1,078 1,823
Annual av. 90/91–99/00 27 108 182 4.02 6.66
2000/01 25 163 247 6.51 9.89
2001/02 27 170 252 6.31 9.35
2002/03 19 71 101 3.72 5.34
2003/04 22 225 311 10.21 14.14
2004/05 29 112 149 3.86 5.15
2005/06 34 124 157 3.64 4.61
2006/07 30 273 330 9.09 10.99
2007/08 39 252 291 6.46 7.45
2008/09 39 408 448 10.46 11.50
2009/10 42 301 327 7.16 7.78
Total 00/01–09/10 306 2,098 2,614
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 31 210 261 6.74 8.62
2010/11 22 125 128 5.69 5.83
2011/12 34 372 374 10.94 11.01
2012/13 33 302 305 9.16 9.24
2013/14 35 359 357 10.25 10.19
2014/15 35 129 129 3.70 3.70

Source: Screen Australia.

Notes: Productions under Australian creative control, including domestic productions, official co-productions and other productions involving shared creative control, i.e. with a mix of Australians in key creative positions.
Figures are updated on an ongoing basis therefore there may be some discrepancies with previously published data.
* Dollar value as per each year specified (ie not adjusted for inflation).
1. Adjusted using the non-farm GDP deflator; base year 2014/15.

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