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THIS PAGE: Features: Spending in Australia

Amount and proportions of expenditure in Australia by Australian and foreign features, 1994/95–2012/13

Next update December 2014

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 $315 million (excluding PDV-only). With a high of $449 million for all productions, 2003/04 was notable for a number of high-budget titles that commenced production that year, including the Australian animated feature Happy Feet and the US features Son of the Mask, Star Wars – Episode III and Stealth. Similarly, expenditure of $442 million (excluding PDV-only) in 2009/10 can be attributed to the comparatively greater number of titles (47 excluding 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.

The average spend in Australia for the first three years of the 2010s, for Australian and foreign titles and including foreign PDV-only expenditure, is $290 million. In 2010/11, expenditure was at a 16-year low, however subsequent years saw a significant increase in both domestic and foreign activity.

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 19 years, with 72 per cent and 73 per cent respectively. By contrast, these years also recorded among the lowest spend by Australian features.

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. While foreign feature production rose again in 2009/10 to 37 per cent (excluding PDV-only), with the production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, it dropped to the mid 20 per cent mark the following two years, even when combined with PDV work outsourced to Australia by foreign productions. In 2012/13, 30 per cent of feature spend in Australia was made up by foreign productions.

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 19 years from July 1994 to June 2013, Australian features spent 85 per cent of their total production budgets in Australia, while the proportion for foreign features is just 54 per cent.

Graph: Expenditure in Australia by feature film production, 1994/95-2012/13. Table following provides the data.

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

Spend in Australia ($m)
Australian productions1 Foreign productions2 All productions
1994/95 42 54 96
1995/96 89 60 148
1996/97 116 33 148
1997/98 146 67 213
1998/99 112 103 215
1999/00 129 78 206
Total 94/95–99/00 634 393 1,027
Annual av. 94/95–99/00 106 65 171
2000/01 102 114 216
2001/02 156 185 341
2002/03 63 162 225
2003/04 201 249 449
2004/05 93 258 352
2005/06 112 23 135
2006/07 234 105 (+9) 339 (+9)
2007/08 173 105 (+13) 278 (+13)
2008/09 368 2 (+18) 370 (+18)
2009/10 273 169 (+10) 442 (+10)
Total 00/01–09/10 1,776 1,371 (+51) 3147 (+51)
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 178 137 (+13) 315 (+13)
2010/11 92 31 124
2011/12 297 90 387
2012/13 250 109 358
Share of total feature spend in Australia (%)
Australian productions1 Foreign productions2
1994/95 44% 56%
1995/96 60% 40%
1996/97 78% 22%
1997/98 69% 31%
1998/99 52% 48%
1999/00 62% 38%
Annual av. 94/95–99/00 62% 38%
2000/01 47% 53%
2001/02 46% 54%
2002/03 28% 72%
2003/04 45% 55%
2004/05 27% 73%
2005/06 83% 17%
2006/07 67% 30% (+3%)
2007/08 60% 36% (+5%)
2008/09 95% <1% (+5%)
2009/10 60% 37% (+2%)
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 56% 43% (+4%)
2010/11 75% 25%
2011/12 77% 23%
2012/13 70% 30%
Proportion of total production budgets spent in Australia (%)
Australian productions1 Foreign productions2, 3 All productions
1994/95 97% 77% 85%
1995/96 100% 45% 67%
1996/97 88% 48% 75%
1997/98 89% 84% 87%
1998/99 96% 59% 74%
1999/00 91% 29% 50%
Annual av. 94/95–99/00 92% 50% 69%
2000/01 63% 56% 59%
2001/02 92% 49% 63%
2002/03 89% 63% 69%
2003/04 89% 58% 68%
2004/05 83% 54% 59%
2005/06 92% 63% 85%
2006/07 86% 39% 63%
2007/08 69% 55% 63%
2008/09 90% 16% 88%
2009/10 91% 68% 80%
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 85% 55% 68%
2010/11 74% 9% 70%
2011/12 82% 14% 78%
2012/13 83% 64% 77%

Source: Screen Australia.

Notes:
Figures are updated on an ongoing basis therefore there may be some discrepancies with previously published data.
Figures may not total exactly due to rounding.
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
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. Total budgets for foreign PDV-only titles are not available

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