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A Year of Consolidation for the New Zealand Film Industry

24 January 2018

2017: A Year of Consolidation for the New Zealand Film Industry

In 2017 the New Zealand motion picture industry drew its breath from the HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE’s record breaking success of 2016 to post a total Gross Box Office for 2017 of$189,660,000, down slightly from 2016’s record breaking revenues of $206,605,000.

Leading the way in 2017 was the Taika Waititi helmed THOR: RANGORAK which took in an impressive $7,008,315 at the Box Office, making it two in a row for Taika following the record-breaking success of HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE in 2016. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST came in second with close to $6.5 million, while STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI took in a further $5,845,604 in 2017. DUNKIRK and MOANA rounded out the top five, at $5,833,201 and $5,480,819 respectively.

The top ten was completed by GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, DESPICABLE ME 3, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, WONDER WOMAN and LION. The first three of these movies grossed in excess of $5 million in Box Office with the remaining two films grossing well over $4 million.

“Given the runaway success of HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE in 2016 we were not at all surprised to see a return to normality in the 2017 Box Office here”, said Chair of the MPDA, Peter Garner. “We are pleased that once again consumers are being provided with a wide variety of movie choices and genres. New Zealand replicated the international success of a number of films with 8 out of the top ten movies breaking $5 million in Box Office revenues”. Mr Garner also noted “The exhibition sector continues to re-invest in the local market in its drive to provide first class facilities for New Zealand audiences. We look forward to the opening of the new Hoyts multiplex in central Christchurch later this year as that city continues its rebuild of entertainment facilities.”

Managing Director of the MPDA, Matthew Cheetham, noted the findings of the Film Commission’s late 2017 report which showed that overall NZ’s screen industry contributes around $1.05 billion to real GDP and around $706 million to exports annually ( Mr Cheetham also commented on the challenges faced by the movie and TV industry in recent years, “When we have the illegal file sharing site the Pirate Bay as New Zealand’s 19th most popular site in New Zealand, it is clear that legitimate movie and TV distribution channels face challenges”. Mr Cheetham hoped that the Government would do its best to address any illegal challenges as it undertakes a review of the Copyright Act, by such means as updating the Act to include site blocking as Australia and Singapore have recently done.

NZ also continues to be a world class production venue and key source of high quality employment. As the Film Commission’s report found, There were 14,000 people working in the industry in 2015 and median earnings in the industry are growing faster than the average for the New Zealand economy.


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