BUCKING belief that cinema faces a downwards slide, latest figures show confidence in the industry is growing.
Manager of Metro Cinemas, Mark Hewitt, said the return of blockbusters to the big screen, along with some high-quality Australian films, had resulted in good crowds returning to local cinemas.
"We have some amazing Australian stories being told on our screen but we also have some big movies being made here including Thor: Love and Thunder, which is a massive positive for Australian cinema and Australia in general," he said.
"The Dry has earnt $13 million to date nationally and is still showing, while Penguin Bloom took $2.5 million in it's opening week which is fantastic."
A report from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA) shows resilience in the movie industry despite challenges faced by the outbreak of COVID, in-home streaming services and screening costs.
January 2020 was up by nine per cent compared to the previous year before COVID-19 forced cinema closures and the postponement of movie releases.
Chairman of the MPDAA and Managing Director of Paramount Pictures Australia, Brian Pritchett, said cinema continues to grow despite it's death being announced each time technology impacts the sector.
"The outlook is bright with an abundance of great films releasing in 2021," he said.
"The unquestionable enhancement of seeing a film on the big screen as well as the sentimental attachment to the communal experience of going to the movies with family and friends has proven to be robust and durable."
The MPDAA said the total 2020 box office of $401 million was testament to the Australian public's ongoing love of seeing movies on the big screen, a result that was especially encouraging given the acceleration of audience fragmentation through growing digital content services coupled with stay-at-home trends during the pandemic.
Jumanji: The Next Level was the top grossing film in 2020 taking $28 million, followed by ground-breaking war movie 1917 and action flick Bad Boys for Life.