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All Feature Films
Spend in Australia

Amount and proportion of expenditure in Australia by Australian and foreign features, 1994/95–2016/17

Next update March 2019

Since 1994/95, when the monitoring of this indicator began, the overall trend for expenditure in Australia, on both Australian and foreign features, has been upwards.

Annual expenditure in the second half of the 1990s averaged $171 million, and by the conclusion of the 2000s had reached $320 million (including PDV-only). The first seven years of the current decade reports annual expenditure of $488 million (including PDV-only).

Stand-out years:

  • 2003/04 recorded annual expenditure of $449 million (excluding PDV-only) for all productions. Notable high-budget titles that commenced production that year include the Australian animated feature Happy Feet and the US features Son of the Mask, Star Wars – Episode III and Stealth.
  • 2009/10 recorded annual expenditure of $452 million (including $10 million of PDV-only work) which can be attributed to the comparatively greater number of titles (53 including PDV-only titles) that commenced production in that year as well as those with a high budget, including foreign titles The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, as well as local titles Killer Elite and Sanctum.
  • 2013/14 recorded annual expenditure of $516 million (including PDV-only), the highest on record. Titles that commenced production that year include the high-budget domestic films The Gods of Egypt and The Water Diviner and foreign features Unbroken, San Andreas, The Moon and the Sun and The Inbetweeners.
  • In the six years from 1994/95 to 1999/00, expenditure in Australia by foreign features averaged $65 million annually, more than doubling to $137 million (excluding PDV-only) in the 2000s. Foreign expenditure peaked in 2004/05, when $258 million was spent here. Nine projects started shooting that year, including high-budget titles Charlotte's Web, Ghost Rider and Superman Returns. Within four years this had dropped to an all-time low of just $2 million (excluding PDV-only) with activity restricted to six Indian titles and no US production taking place in Australia for the first time since production recording started in 1988.
  • Between 1994/95 and 1999/00, foreign features accounted for 38 per cent of feature production spending in Australia increasing to 43 per cent in the following decade. 2002/03 and 2004/05 recorded the highest proportion of spending by foreign features over the last 20 years, with 72 per cent and 73 per cent respectively.
  • In 2008/09, with the dramatic drop in foreign features and with two high-budget Australian features starting production (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and Happy Feet Two), Australian titles accounted for 95 per cent of feature production spending. Foreign feature production rose again in 2009/10 to 39 per cent (including PDV-only), with the production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Over the last seven years, feature spend in Australia by foreign productions averaged 47 per cent.

In terms of the proportion of total production budgets that are actually spent in Australia, Australian features tend to spend almost all their budget here, while for foreign features the proportion is lower. Over the 23 years from July 1994 to June 2017, Australian features spent 86 per cent of their total production budgets in Australia, while the proportion for foreign features is just 52 per cent.