8654.0 - Motion Picture Exhibition, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/05/2001   
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May 18, 2001
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Going to the movies costs more

The cost of going to the movies has increased, with average box office takings per paid admission up 15 percent from $7.50 in 1996-97 to $8.60 in 1999-00, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Paid admissions to cinemas totalled 79.4 million in 1999-00, an increase of 8 percent from 1996-97. On average each Australian visited the cinema 4.1 times during the year, up from 4.0 times in 1996-97.

Businesses in the motion picture industry generated $1,046 million in income during 1999-00, of which $679 million (65 percent) accrued from box office takings. The major expenses of businesses in the industry were film hire/rental costs of $268 million (29 percent of all expenses) and labour costs of $149 million (16 percent of all expenses).

There were 173 businesses in Australia's motion picture exhibition industry operating 325 cinema sites and 17 drive-in sites containing a total of 1,540 screens. While the number of cinema sites has remained virtually unchanged since June 1994, the number of drive-in sites has reduced from 41 sites in June 1994 and 28 sites in June 1997. The average number of cinema screens per site has doubled from 2.3 in June 1994 to 4.6 at June 2000.

The motion picture industry had an operating profit before tax of $113 million, with a profit margin of 11.4 percent. This is a decrease on the operating profit margin of 14.9 percent recorded in 1996-97.

The industry is dominated by the eight largest motion picture exhibition businesses, each of which had income greater than $8 million. These businesses accounted for 68 percent (6,321) of the industry employment, 80 percent ($838 million) of total income in the industry, 86 percent ($97 million) of profit, 74 percent (59 million) of the paid cinema admissions and 70 percent (1083) of the cinema/drive-in screens.

The motion picture industry employed 9,282 people at June 2000, 20 percent more than at June 1997. Of these 7,492 people (81 percent) were employed on a casual basis. Average labour costs per employee were $16,100.

Details are in Motion Picture Exhibition Australia, 1999-00 (cat. no. 8654.0) available from ABS bookshops. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.