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    Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: C is for Cinema

    To wrap up 2023, Mediaweek is looking at the biggest trends, events, platforms, and brands of the year. Welcome to Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023 … and beyond.

    By Guy Burbidge, Managing Director, Val Morgan 

    This year in cinema has been unlike any other. Records have been broken both locally and globally. We witnessed a resurgence in genre filmmaking which saw the box office driven by one of the most diverse slates from studios and distributors spanning action, family, comedy, horror, and even concert films resulting in the top ten films of the year so far comprising of five different genres.

    The year started strong with some big moments. Avatar: The Way of Water captivated cinemagoers across the world, smashing records to achieve the third highest-grossing film of all time both worldwide and in Australia. At Easter, we saw The Super Mario Bros Movie the number one animated film of all time in Australia, beating out a 20-year record held by Shrek 2. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and John Wick 4 both overdelivered significantly on their prior films and then the most monumental cinematic cultural moment of the year, Barbie, turned the world pink.

    The film’s success – aside from the incredible marketing machine behind the film – lay in its broad multi-generational appeal, resonating and connecting with both young females and an older demographic. It quickly became a cultural phenomenon. With $1.4 billion at the global box office, Barbie has become the number one comedy film of all time and broke into Australia’s top four films of all time.

    Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: C is for Cinema


    Then there was Barbenheimer, the showdown of Barbie and Oppenheimer releasing on the same day which created a social trend that swept the internet, and no doubt helped drive Oppenheimer to become the second highest-grossing drama in Australia, ever.

    Thrillers have also had a successful year at the box office. 2023 was the year of fear with titles like The Nun II, Scream VI, M3GAN, and Talk To Me all appealing to the next generation of horror enthusiasts and Five Nights at Freddy’s crept its way to the fourth-highest grossing horror film ever in Australia.

    The demand for culturally and linguistically diverse films in Australia also reached an all-time high, with Pathaan becoming Australia’s biggest Bollywood movie ever early in the year, and Jawan which was released in September sitting firmly behind in second place.

    Fascinatingly, it’s the first time since 2017 that a superhero film won’t be in the top three movies of the year, indicating audiences shifting towards a more diverse content slate.

    Cinema experiences have hit new strengths. Not only have we seen the return of some of Australia’s most loved outdoor cinema experiences like Moonlight Cinema, but we’ve also seen the introduction of new innovative concepts, like Mov’in Bed Barangaroo Beach Club Cinema which officially kicks off next month, and Dendy Powerhouse Outdoor Cinema; a 350-seater outdoor cinema with lounge chairs, and wireless headphones, all of which provide audiences with the premium experiences they’re actively seeking.

    One of the strongest indicators of the state of the industry is brand-new cinema complexes opening across the country. Palace Penny Lane, Reading Angelka and Reading Busselton have all opened this year, as well as the new IMAX in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. This cutting-edge cinema combines state-of-the-art Laser by IMAX technology for an experience like no other. Since opening in October, the Sydney IMAX has become the highest-grossing IMAX location globally outside the United States and the United Kingdom.

    Not only are new cinemas opening up, major operators and independent exhibitors alike are investing in the refurbishment of cinemas across the industry and continuing to improve the customer experience from quality of the in-cinema experience through to F&B and amenities.

    ad spend foxtel

    Brands have also capitalised on another strong year, with Cinema outperforming the market with the latest SMI data (Jan – Sept) reporting a 4.5% uplift in ad spend, the second highest YOY channel increase after Outdoor.

    Australians love cinema. Incredible content paired with the cinemagoing experience is why 2023 saw cinema continue to hold its place at the forefront of culture, and why it’s considered an affordable luxury; one that despite challenging economic conditions Australians still spend on, with CBA reporting that spending on cinema tickets alone was up 31 per cent in the last quarter.

    Looking ahead, 2024 is set to be a strong year for Cinema. With the SAG AFTRS strike now officially over, audiences can expect more. More quality content, a more diverse slate of films including movies that were meant to release in 2023 like Dune Part Two and Force of Nature: The Dry 2 as well as other highly anticipated titles like Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Furiosa, Deadpool 3, Mufasa: The Lion King, Joker: Folie à Deux, and Wicked Part One, all set to release in the new year.

    See Also: Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: B is for BVOD

    Top Image: Guy Burbidge

    The post Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: C is for Cinema appeared first on Mediaweek.

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