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Australian feature film
production activity

Number produced, total production budgets and average budget per film (current* and 2017 dollars), 1970/71–2016/17

Next update March 2019

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 31 in the 2000s and 35 in the first seven years of the 2010s.

Converted to 2017 dollars, total production budgets for Australian feature films averaged around $27 million annually in the 1970s, increasing to over $180 million during the 1980s and 1990s, and increasing further to $271 million in the 2000s. 

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 ($464 million in 2017 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).

In 2016/17, total production budgets increased by 58 per cent over the previous year, due largely to the high-budget films Peter Rabbit, The Palace and Winchester. The number of titles produced increased by 28 per cent over the previous year.

The average budget for Australian features has risen in each decade since the 1970s. In the 1970s it was $1.78 million (in 2017 dollars), which more than tripled to $5.92 million during the 1980s, and grew to $6.89 million in the 1990s and $8.93 million in the first decade of the 2000s. The average budget in the first seven years of the 2010s was $8.70 million (in 2017 dollars).