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2016: a Record Breaking Year for New Zealand Film Industry

25 January 2017

2016: a Record Breaking Year for the New Zealand Film Industry

For the third consecutive year the New Zealand motion picture industry posted record revenues with a total Gross Box Office for 2016 of $206,605,000, up 6.8% from 2015’s previous record of $193 million.

Leading the way in 2016’s record take was the locally produced box office behemoth, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE which took in a record $12,181,582, making it the biggest ever local title and the 6th biggest movie of all time in New Zealand. FINDING DORY came in second at just over $7 million while STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS took in a further $5,476,587 in 2016. Combined with its 2015 take, this episode of STAR WARS pulled in total Box office of $14,630,909 to be the 2nd biggest release here of all time. SUICIDE SQUAD and DEADPOOL rounded out the top five, both recording takes of above $5 million.

The top ten was completed by THE JUNGLE BOOK, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, and FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. All of these movies cleared at least $4 million in Box Office.

“While 2016 was dominated by the phenomenal success of HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, we were delighted to see consumers enjoyed a wide spread of quality content across many genres”, said MPDA Chairman Peter Garner. “We are also very pleased to see solid growth in the National Gross Box Office take by $13million above the 2015 result , which was in itself a record breaking year”. This was achieved despite the closure of two major multiplexes in the Wellington region following the November 2016 earthquake.

General Manager of the MPDA of New Zealand, Matthew Cheetham, also commented on the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s (MBIE’s) recently released report “Copyright & The Creative Sector” and in particular the Government’s acknowledgement that “As well as being integral to New Zealand’s cultural landscape, the creative sector plays a key role in New Zealand’s economy”. Mr Cheetham noted MBIE’s report dovetailed nicely with a 2015 PwC report that showed how New Zealand’s creative industries combined contributed $3.8 billion to New Zealand’s economy, and supported the employment of more than 41,000 people (

New Zealand movie goers across the country continue to be able to enjoy access to a wide variety of films in quality surroundings. The roll out of digital cinema is now complete, bringing the total number of digital screens to 408. New Zealand also continues to be a world class production venue with a number of high profile titles in progress.


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