NZFC, Wellington, 7 September 2016: In the last 12 months, New Zealand films have boosted the box office at local cinemas, breaking records and reaching larger numbers of people in more cinema locations.
Most recently, Chasing Great: Richie McCaw, which opened in 102 New Zealand cinemas on 1 September broke the box office record for the highest grossing opening weekend for a New Zealand documentary, taking $681,181. The previous record was held by Beyond the Edge which took $273,889 over its opening weekend in October 2013.
In the past 12 months, Born to Dance, Mahana and Poi E have all taken over $1 million at the New Zealand box office during their theatrical runs. Mahana spent 18 weeks on New Zealand screens and Poi E remains in 80 cinemas after five weeks.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople became the highest grossing New Zealand film ever in May, when it beat the $9.3 million figure set by Boy. Hunt for the Wilderpeople remains in cinemas and has now taken more than $12 million at the New Zealand box office, where it remains the top grossing film of 2016, beating films such as Finding Dory, The Jungle Book and Deadpool.
New Zealand Film Commission CEO, Dave Gibson says, “It’s fantastic that New Zealand cinema audiences are supporting local films in such numbers. It shows people have been hungry for films that speak to them, and when these films are on, even people who don’t go to the movies often will head to their local cinema.”
President of the Motion Picture Distributors’ Association of New Zealand, Peter Garner, says, “New Zealand films have certainly played a major role so far this year in assisting the national box office to a very healthy 9% uplift to the end of August 2016, when compared to the same period last year which stands at $141.7million. The standout performer has of course been Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”
New Zealand audiences clearly continue to enjoy the movie going experience and the planned opening of further quality multiplexes around the country over the next year or so is a very good indicator that we have an industry in good heart. With continued support of our creative talent we can expect more local blockbusters to hit our screens in the years ahead.”