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Top Ten Australian Films of 2017 with ‘Lion’ at the top with $29.5 million local box office

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The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA) has released finalised 2017 box office figures, with Academy Award® Best Picture nominee Lion the top earning Australian film at the local box office. It took $A29.5 million. The result sees Lion become the 5th all-time biggest Australian film at the local box office and helped Australian films take a 4.1% (or $A49.4 million) share of total box office in 2017. Lion took $A177.94 million worldwide across 57 territories including Australia.

The top five Australian films at the local box office were rounded out by Red Dog: True Blue ($A5.9 million in addition to $A1.6 million taken in 2016), Jasper Jones ($A2.7 million), Dance Academy ($A2.1 million) and the documentary Mountain ($A2 million). The other leading film were Ali’s Wedding, Three Summers, Hacksaw Ridge (which took most of its earnings in 2016),  Don’t Tell, and Rip Tide.

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“2017 was a great year for Australian film and Lion in particular deserved not only its critical success, but its commercial success, which was derived from a well-planned, global strategy,” said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.

“However, the decade-long trend of indie films being squeezed into smaller releases continues, resulting in these films earning less at the box office. In 2007, blockbusters took around 23% of the Australian box office, but ten years later they took over 50%.”

“That trend is even more apparent when you look at films playing on less than 200 screens, which in 2007 were jostling for a 33% share of the box office, but in 2017 they didn’t even reach 14%. And it’s not just Aussie films, but indie films from all countries that are feeling the pressure. For example, looking at the non-Australian Best Picture Oscar® nominees in the period, you had Manchester by the Sea do $3.1m in Australia, Fences did $1.2m and the category winner Moonlight on $2.5m. All critically acclaimed, remarkable films doing significantly less box office than they would have a decade ago.”

“These are the new rules in which we must compete, so at Screen Australia we’re not only looking for exceptional Australian stories, but stories with a considered path to audience at the cinema, and then beyond the cinema,” he said in a prepared statement.

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