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All Feature films

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 Australia, Australian feature films, and Focus: Foreign drama production in Australia.

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