8654.0 - Motion Picture Exhibition, Australia, 1996-97  
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  • Cinema admissions up by 22 percent in past 3 years - ABS (Media Release)

Cinema admissions up by 22 percent in past 3 years - ABS

Every Australian visits the cinema on average four times per year according to results on a survey of the motion picture exhibition industry released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

During 1996-97, there were 73.3 million paid admissions to cinemas an increase of 22 per cent since 1993-94. However the average box office takings per paid admission has increased only marginally (3 per cent) in the same period - from $7.30 in 1993-94 to $7.50 in 1996-97.

There were 188 businesses in Australia's motion picture exhibition industry operating 325 cinema sites and 28 drive-in sites in 1996-97 containing a total of 1,086 screens.

Almost 60 per cent (625) of the 1,050 cinema screens were part of multiplex cinemas. The total number of screens increased by 39 per cent since June 1994.

The industry is dominated by the 8 largest motion picture exhibition businesses, each of which had income greater than $8 million. These businesses accounted for 68 per cent (5,297) of the industry employment, 78 per cent ($652 million) of total income in the industry, 74 per cent (54 million) of the paid cinema admissions and 65 per cent (708) of the cinema/drive-in screens.

Overall the motion picture industry had a operating profit before tax of $120 million which represented an operating profit margin of 14.9 per cent. This is an increase when compared with the operating profit margin for the industry of 12 per cent in 1993-94. The main contributors to this increase were the 8 largest businesses which increased their operating profit margin in the same period from 12.3 per cent to 16.2 per cent.

Businesses in the motion picture industry generated $832 million in income during 1996-97, of which $552 million (66 per cent) accrued from box office takings. The major expenses of businesses in the industry in 1996-97 were film hire/rental costs of $211 million (30 per cent of all expenses) and labour costs of $123 million (17 per cent of all expenses). The film hire/rental cost per paid admission was $2.90.

The 7,739 persons working in the motion picture industry at June 1997, was a 35 per cent increase since June 1994. There were a total of 6,194 (80 per cent) of these persons that worked part-time. The high part-time participation was reflected in the average labour costs per employee of $16,100.

Full details are in Motion Picture Exhibition Australia, 1996-97 (cat. no. 8654.0) available from all ABS Bookshops. A summary of its findings are available on this site.