Date: 12th July 2001
Thanks to home-grown megastars such as NICOLE KIDMAN and MEL GIBSON, box office receipts in Australia have risen by nearly nine per cent.
Ticket sales from January 1 to June 27 tallied $A396. 3 million (US$206 million). Last year's sales were A$364. 7 million (US$220 million).
Among the biggest money-earners were MOULIN ROUGE (2001), starring Kidman, MUMMY RETURNS, The (2001), MISS CONGENIALITY (2000), World War II epic PEARL HARBOR (2001), CAST AWAY (2000), Mel Gibson's WHAT WOMEN WANT (2000) and HANNIBAL (2001).
The last half of 2000 was hit badly by competition from the Sydney Olympics and the introduction of a 10 per cent consumption tax, resulting in an annual decline of 2. 1 per cent after 12 years of sustained box office growth.
"The second half will be much bigger this year," one distributor predicts, pointing to SHREK (2001) - which has delivered monster numbers since its June 21 (01) premiere - and upcoming films including PLANET OF THE APES (2001), JURASSIC PARK 3 (2001), FAST AND THE FURIOUS, The (2001), and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001). (HB/WNWCSMH/KMW)