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Australian films at the Australian box office: Performance, distribution, and subsidies

by Walls, W. D. and McKenzie, J.

In recent years, Australian films have failed to capture the public’s attention at the Australian box office. Why? Do Australians have an aversion to their own films? Or does the release strategy—advertising/publicity expenditure and opening number of screens—explain the lacklustre performance? We find that even though Australian films are generally advertised more heavily and released more widely than non-Australian films, ceteris paribus, they earn less at the box office. We also analyse a subsample of our data for which Film Finance Corporation funding information is available and find that government subsidies have no impact on a film’s financial success at the box office.

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