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6 data sources every producer should read and why

Data is a crucial tool in any producer’s arsenal – both for creative and business decisions. Here’s six areas to visit.

Production still from The Code, two people looking at a computer screen.The Code


Screen Australia has worked with reporting platform Numero to release new box office data that shows the local box office figures for Australian films released in the last 10 years. This data set from Numero includes a film’s title, release date, distributor, widest screen count and total box office.

Click here to view.

Why? Historical box office is the most commonly used data point for exhibitors and distributors. Producers can use this data for comparisons, to understand where their project fits into the theatrical landscape, to support stronger applications for production investment funding and also inform better decision making at script development stage.

Other box office information is available on Screen Australia’s Fact Finders section of the website, including the Australian share of box office here and gross box office here

Also note that local box office isn’t the only way a feature film makes money. Films can earn significant revenue from foreign box office, streaming deals, TV and other distribution. Understand more about the difference in budget, profit and recoupment here


This data shows the impact of COVID on cinemagoing and longer-term attendance trends from before the pandemic.

Find it here

According to the data, since 2000 the proportion of Australians attending the cinema at least once per year has averaged 67 per cent, with an average of about seven visits per year, per person. The frequency of visits has broadly trended down since a peak in the mid-90s.

You can also examine trends by:

  • Age groups here
  • City location here
  • Audience lifestyle and values, also known as psychographics here

Why? Understanding your audience and how you are going to reach them has a direct correlation with distribution and marketing plans, as well as whether a project will work in a theatrical space. Marketing and distribution expert Courtney Botfield speaks to this in the Screen Australia podcast here (timecode 00:38:34) and the episode also discusses the need to keep up to date with broad trends in cinemagoing.   


Producers can easily access data that shows how many films have released in Australian cinemas since 1984, and where those films originated from – whether local or overseas.

Find it here

Why? The data shows that the number of films releasing in Australian cinemas more than doubled in the decade before COVID, driven by an increase in films from Asia. This means more choice for cinemagoers, but increased competition for screens for Australian films. Another page in this section shows the Top 50 films each year (find it here), which reveals how much of the box office is taken up by the top films each year (in 2019 it was 35%, and in 2021, 40%). The data also enables comparisons across lower-grossing foreign films.


Understand how many cinemas there are now, as well as how many screens, and how many seats (or audiences) fill them. 

Find it here

Why? This data shows the long-term trends in cinema infrastructure. There are around 500 cinemas in Australia, with some fluctuation in the last five years. The number of seats was fairly consistent prior to COVID, while the significant rise in the number of screens per theatre and the transition to digital projection has given exhibitors greater flexibility in the number and diversity of titles they can screen and the scheduling of those titles. This is a positive for Australian projects but has to be viewed in conjunction with other data, such as the number of local and international films now vying for screens and audiences.


The Screen Australia website features other data sources to help you understand industry trends and know where your project sits in the marketplace, including:

Data on the production of Australian feature films (find it here), which looks into factors such as budget ranges and finance. The Fact Finders section of the website includes other aspects such as special reports, and analysis of TV: you can explore it here

Podcasts that feature discussions with leading figures in production, distribution, marketing and more. For example:

  • Marketing discussion here
  • Q&A on feature production here
  • Andrew Mackie from Transmission Films here
  • Insights into the Drama Report 2020/21 findings here
  • Distribution 101 here
  • Finance plans explained here

Intel pieces that take a deeper dive into issues such as:

  • Best practice when selling rights here
  • Recoupment vs profit here
  • The festival release strategy for The Babadook and The Nightingale here
  • Breaking down the numbers behind box office success Last Cab to Darwin here

The funding page for the Marketplace team here, who offer Sales and Distribution support. The team works with producers, distributors and sales agents to negotiate and capture international and domestic sales information to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties. It also provides data via Intel pieces, podcasts and other reports.

View upcoming productions here, while you can see funding approvals throughout Screen Australia's website here

Subscribe to the newsletter here for the latest articles, videos, podcasts and funding announcements.


The more data a producer is armed with, the greater benefit to their projects. A list of further sources of data and information has been collated below. (Please note that other sources exist, and Screen Australia does not necessarily endorse content provided by the organisations listed.)

Keep up to date on report and/or data about the broader state of the industry via:

Industry and researchers provide newsletters, blogs and reports including: 

  • Comscore here
  • Gruvi here
  • Movio here (including the Behind the Screens podcast with Matthew Liebmann from Movio and Simon Burton from Numero here)
  • Numero here
  • Parrot Analytics here
  • PwC here
  • Roy Morgan here
  • Stephen Follows here

Local and international trade media, which report on deals, casting, upcoming productions, and publish reports and findings from universities and researchers. They include:

The inaugural Australian Feature Film Summit included two stages, with panels from the first stage in October 2021 available now and stage two – the in-person and online event in May 2022 – set to make panels available for free on the website in the months to come. Hear insights from industry, particularly in the “What does success look like?” panel here