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THIS PAGE: Features: Spending in Australia

Amount and proportions of expenditure in Australia by Australian and foreign features, 1994/95–2011/12

Next update December 2013

Expenditure in Australia by features (both Australian and foreign) has increased fairly steadily since 1994/95, when monitoring of this indicator began. It reached a high of $450 million in 2003/04 due to a number of high-budget titles that commenced that year, including the Australian animated feature Happy Feet and the US features Son of the Mask, Star Wars – Episode III and Stealth. While spending in Australia dropped in 2005/06 to $135 million, it increased to $339 million the following year. In 2009/10, it totalled $442 million, above the 10-year average of $314 million.

In the six years from 1994/95 to 1999/00, expenditure in Australia by foreign features averaged $65 million annually and in the first decade of the 2000s it averaged $137 million, peaking 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. However, in 2005/06 expenditure dropped to $23 million, and in 2008/09 to just $2 million, with activity restricted to just six Indian titles and no US production taking place in Australia for the first time since production recording started in 1988.

In the eight years to 2007/08, foreign features accounted for just over 50 per cent of feature production spending in Australia, ranging from a high of 74 per cent in 2004/05 to a low of 17 per cent in 2005/06. In 2008/09, with the dramatic drop in foreign features and with two high-budget Australian features starting (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and Happy Feet Two), Australian titles accounted for over 99 per cent of feature production spending. While foreign feature production rose again in 2009/10, to 38 per cent, with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, in 2010/11 it dropped to a record low of less than 1 per cent where it remains in 2011/12.

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. For example, the Australian features (including co-productions) shot in 2009/10 spent 91 per cent of their total budgets in Australia, and the foreign features 68 per cent. Over the 18 years from July 1994 to June 2012, Australian features spent 90 per cent of their total production budgets in Australia, while the proportion for foreign features is 50 per cent.

Graph: Expenditure in Australia by feature film production, 1994/95-2011/12. Table following provides the data.
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
1998/99 112 102 214
1999/00 129 78 207
Total 94/95–99/00 634 392 1,026
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 93 258 351
2005/06 112 23 135
2006/07 234 105 339
2007/08 172 105 277
2008/09 368 2 370
2009/10 273 169 442
Total 00/01–09/10 1,775 1,371 3,146
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 178 137 315
2010/11 89 1 90
2011/12 296 3 299
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 69% 31%
2007/08 62% 38%
2008/09 100% <1%
2009/10 62% 38%
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 56% 44%
2010/11 99% 1%
2011/12 99% 1%
Proportion of total production budgets spent in Australia (%)
Australian productions1 Foreign productions2 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% 49% 69%
2000/01 63% 56% 59%
2001/02 92% 49% 63%
2002/03 89% 63% 69%
2003/04 89% 58% 68%
2004/05 83% 53% 59%
2005/06 92% 63% 85%
2006/07 86% 39% 63%
2007/08 68% 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%

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.
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. Does not include foreign productions undertaking PDV only work in Australia.

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