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Feature film production
activity summary

Number of feature films produced, total production budgets and spend (current dollars*) in Australia, 1990/91–2015/16

Next update March 2018

 

While the number of Australian films produced each year can fluctuate significantly, the decade average since 1980/81 has remained relatively consistent. Again, average budgets vary considerably from year to year, however the decade average has consistently increased, from $270,000 in the 1970s to $6.7 million in the 2010s.

The current decade is on track with an average of 33 films made in the last six years with an average budget of $7.6 million.

During the 1990s, 27 foreign features were made with total budgets of $981 million. This rose to 61 in the first decade of the 2000s, with total budgets around $2.5 billion and spending more than $1.3 billion in Australia. In the decade 2000/01 to 2009/10, numerous high-budget titles, mostly from the US, were shot in Australia, including the Matrix films, Peter Pan, Star Wars (episodes II and III), Superman Returns and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Foreign feature production dropped significantly in 2008/09, with no US production taking place that year.

Spending in Australia by foreign features has also fluctuated over the last 26 years, with the exception of the years 1999/00 to 2004/05 when spending rose consistently culminating in an historic high of $258 million.

PDV-only work has also contributed to spend by foreign productions in Australia. In the four years to 2009/10, spend by foreign PDV-only projects averaged $13 million. The highest ever spend on foreign PDV-only was recorded in 2011/12, which included a substantial amount as a result of work on The Lego Movie by Australian production company Animal Logic.

There were 29 Australian features produced in 2015/16,slightly below the average number of films produced over the last six years. Seven foreign features started shooting and another fifteen foreign features commenced only PDV work in Australia during the 2015/16 period.

In total, the 22 foreign features allocated around $243 million to expenditure in Australia. Titles shot in Australia included Alien: Covenant (US), Kong: Skull Island (US), The Shallows (US), A Single Rider (South Korea) and three Indian productions – Big Daddy, Raj Kumara and Sardaarji 2. Foreign titles undertaking only PDV work in Australia originated mostly from the US, such as Deadpool, Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, Ghostbusters, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Underworld: Blood Wars and X-Men: Apocalypse.

For more details see Spending in AustraliaAustralian feature films, and Focus: Foreign drama production in Australia.

No. features produced,
1990/91–2015/16
 Graph: Number of features produced, 1990/91-2014/15. The table following provides the data.

Total production budgets
(current dollars*), 1990/91–2015/16
 Graph: Total production budgets, 1990/91-2014/15. The table following provides the data.

Feature film spend in Australia, 1994/95–2015/16
 Graph: Feature film spend in Australia, 1994/95-2014/15. The table following provides the data.

Notes:
Foreign productions undertaking only PDV in Australia have been included since 2006/07.


Figures preceded by '+' are for foreign productions undertaking only PDV work in Australia.

  Australian productions1 Foreign productions2 All productions
No. Total
budgets
($m)*
Spend in Aust. ($m)*3 No. Total
budgets
($m)*4
Spend in Aust. ($m)3* No. Total
budgets
($m)*4
Spend in Aust. ($m)3*
1990/91 27 113 n.a. 1 20 n.a. 28 133 n.a.
1991/92 29 79 n.a. 4 69 n.a. 33 148 n.a.
1992/93 22 58 n.a. 2 29 n.a. 24 87 n.a.
1993/94 28 141 n.a. 2 69 n.a. 30 210 n.a.
1994/95 15 43 42 2 70 54 17 113 96
1995/96 23 89 89 5 132 60 28 221 148
1996/97 33 131 116 2 68 33 35 199 148
1997/98 35 165 146 3 80 67 38 245 213
1998/99 29 117 112 4 173 103 33 290 215
1999/00 27 141 129 2 272 78 29 413 206
Total 90/91–99/00 268 1,078 n.a. 27 981 n.a. 295 2,059 n.a.
Annual av. 90/91–99/00 27 108 n.a. 3 98 n.a. 30 206 n.a.
2000/01 25 163 102 5 205 114 30 367 216
2001/02 27 170 156 7 374 185 34 545 341
2002/03 19 71 63 5 256 162 24 327 225
2003/04 22 225 201 7 432 249 29 656 449
2004/05 29 112 93 9 482 258 38 594 352
2005/06 34 124 112 4 36 23 38 160 135
2006/07 30 273 234 6 (+17) 268 105 (+9) 36 (+17) 541 339 (+9)
2007/08 39 252 173 7 (+15) 190 105 (+13) 46 (+15) 442 278 (+13)
2008/09 39 408 368 6 (+7) 10 2 (+18) 45 (+7) 418 370 (+18)
2009/10 42 301 273 5 (+6) 250 169 (+10) 47 (+6) 550 442 (+10)
Total 00/01–09/10 303 2,098 1,776 61 (+45) 2,503 1,371 (+51) 367 (+45) 4,601 3,147 (+51)
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 30 210 178 6 (+11) 250 137 (+13) 36 (+11) 460 315 (+13)
2010/11 22 125 93 15 8 76 37 133 169
2011/12 34 372 303 20 23 90 54 395 393
2012/13 37 305 255 14 155 110 51 460 365
2013/14 39 360 298 24 278 203 63 638 501
2014/15 37 131 122 14 n.p. 411 51 n.p. 533
2015/16 29 207 194 22 477 243 51 684 437

Source: Screen Australia.

Notes:
Figures are updated on an ongoing basis therefore there may be some discrepancies with previously published data.
Figures preceded by '+' are for foreign productions undertaking only PDV work in Australia. Foreign productions undertaking only PDV in Australia have been included since 2006/07. Foreign shoot and PDV-only figures have been combined from 2010/11 onwards due to confidentiality reasons.
n.a. Not available.
Figures may not total exactly due to rounding.
* Dollar value as per each year specified (ie not adjusted for inflation) .
1. 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.
2. Productions under foreign creative control with a substantial amount shot in Australia.
3. Includes some expenditure on foreign production elements – for example, fees for non-Australian actors or other individuals while working in Australia. See also Feature films: Spend in Australia since 1994/95.
4. Total budgets include only foreign titles shot in Australia – total budgets for foreign PDV-only titles are not available.

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