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Australian feature film
production activity

Number produced, total production budgets and average budget per film (current* and 2020 dollars), 1970/71–2020/21

Next update December 2022

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 to 37 in the 2010s.

Converted to 2020 dollars, total production budgets for Australian feature films averaged around $28 million annually in the 1970s, increasing to over $200 million during the 1980s and 1990s, and increasing further to $299 million in the 2000s. At the close of the 2010s, average total budgets were $335 million.

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 2012/13, the total production budgets figure was the highest on record ($562 million in 2020 dollars), principally because of the high-budget title Mad Max: Fury Road.

In 2020/21, total production budgets (in 2020 dollars) increased by 91 per cent over the previous year. This increase was largely due to the high-budget films Baz Luhrmann's Untitled Elvis Project and Three Thousand Years of Longing. The production industry was also coming off a difficult year in 2019/20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of titles produced increased by 68 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 $1.87 million (in 2020 dollars), which more than tripled to $6.55 million during the 1980s, and grew to $7.62 million in the 1990s and $9.85 million in the 2000s. The average budget in the 2010s was $8.98 million (in 2020 dollars).