The ‘Real’ Box Office Figures for Australian Movies

This page crunches the numbers to show which Australian films have really been the most successful at the box office (traditionally the main source of income for films). I’ve compiled three lists showing the most successful Oz movies (a) at the Australian box office, (b) overseas and (c) combined domestic and international box offices.

But why bother with all these lists, aren’t they already available? Am I not just reinventing the wheel, or um, the stump-jump plough? Well no, actually – none of the box office lists currently online are adjusted for inflation. This not only makes it difficult to compare films from different eras, but makes it appear that almost all of our most popular films were made recently, and that we are therefore living in the best of all possible worlds (as the optimists hope and the pessimists fear).

My starting point in this quixotic quest for knowledge was Screen Australia’s helpful and interesting Top 100 Australian Feature Films Of All Time, a list which is updated annually and based on the ‘total reported gross Australian box office for Australian-produced films’ (and isn’t that a phrase to bring a yawn to the mouths of non-economists!). This is a great list, as far as it goes, and tells us that ‘The no. 1 Australian film at the Australian box office is Crocodile Dundee (1986), with earnings of $47,707,045’, and then goes on to list the next 99 Oz money-earners at the Oz box office.

HOWEVER, the list is not adjusted for inflation, and so makes it look like, the Crocodile Dundee films aside, all our ‘top’ films have been made in the last 25 years. Ten of the films in the top 20 of Screen Australia’s list were made in the last 10 years, and 17/20 were made in the last 25 years. It seems as if the blockbuster is a modern phenomenon in other words.

So, in the interests of perspective, I have done the maths to make it REAL (in the economists’ sense of ‘real’, meaning adjusted for inflation). So the first list below shows our top 500 domestic box office earners in 2016 dollars rather than old dollars.

Similarly, I’ve taken the figures from Screen Australia’s Top Australian Films in the US, added it to the figures from their lists for the UK and Germany, done the exchange rate calculations to convert to Oz dollars, and then compared this total to figures for Australian films from Box Office Mojo (a site which lists the takings (in $US) for as many countries as they have data for. Sometimes this covers 50 countries, sometimes only the US). This gives us the best figure for the overseas box office, which I’ve then adjusted for inflation (see Part 2 below for more information).

And what do we see?

Domestically, the ‘real’ list is very different from the non-adjusted list, showing that many films from the 70s and 80s (and even earlier) were just as successful as money-earners as more modern films.  Internationally, there is less change at the top, although the order has changed somewhat (and it puts Crocodile Dundee even further ahead of its competitors). One thing that does not change as much: at the top of all lists, it’s still very much the Hoges, Baz and Dr George show, with these three producer/director/writers having made 8 out of our 11 most successful films domestically, and 8 of our 9 most successful films internationally.

So, on to the three lists:

1. The ‘Real’ Box Office Figures for Australian Movies Domestically

As mentioned above, the list of most successful Oz films domestically is the one most changed by making it ‘real’:

  • Croc Dundee is still top, but now with $121 million in 2016 Oz dollars, a country mile ahead of Babe and Australia, rather than half a length;
  • Films made in the last 10 years now only account for 3 of the top 20 (instead of 10 out of 20)
  • Films made in the last 25 years now only account for 10 of the top 20 (instead of 17 out of 20)
  • Some great old films are now in the top 20, showing that they were better money-earners in their day than many recent hits. These include 1981’s Gallipoli at #6, 1973’s Alvin Purple at #7, 1981’s Mad Max 2 at #8, 1975’s Picnic At Hanging Rock at #12, 1966’s They’re A Weird Mob at #13, and 1983’s Phar Lap at #18.
  • Apart from Alvin Purple, ten other 1970s Ozploitation hits are now in the top 100 are Mad Max (#21 up 34 places), Alvin Rides Again (#40 up 102 places), Stone (#45 up 117 places), Barry Mckenzie Holds His Own (#53 up 123 places), Petersen (#55 up 126 places), Eliza Fraser (#58 up 95 places), The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (#59 up 162 places), Ned Kelly (the 1970 one with Mick Jagger) (#65 up 197 places), The Man From Hong Kong (#83 up 124 places) and The Box (#95 up 151 places). We really loved our saucy comedies and action flicks in the 70s!

In the interest of completeness and your interest in other films, I have listed all Australian films for which I have box office information and which made over $100,000 (over 500 in all).  So if you want to know just how well (or poorly) Dead End Drive-In or Let’s Get Skase did, it’s all there.

Much of the information for lower portion of the list comes from an excellent 2010 Film Victoria report Australian Films at the Australian Box Office, which gave box office information for all films that made $100,000 and many that made much less (the report also gave figures in 2009 dollars, but neglected to provide a ranked list, opting for a more democratic alphabetical). (See Sources below)

So here it is, the revised/’real’ list:

1. Box Office Figures for Australian Movies Domestically – Adjusted for Inflation

Real Rank     Title (Year)   Box office (AUD) – original (Rank )     Box Office in 2016 Dollars

  1. Crocodile Dundee (1986) 47,707,045 (1) $121,652,965
  2. Babe (1995) 36,776,544 (3) $61,784,594
  3. The Man from Snowy River (1982) 17,228,160 (14) $58,403,462
  4. Crocodile Dundee II (1988) 24,916,805 (8) $54,567,803
  5. Australia (2008) 37,555,757 (2) $44,691,351
  6. Gallipoli (1981) 11,740,000 (23) $44,377,200
  7. Alvin Purple (1973) 4,720,000 (68) $42,904,800
  8. Mad Max 2 (1981) 10,847,491 (27) $41,003,516
  9. Moulin Rouge (2001) 27,734,406 (6) $40,492,233
  10. Happy Feet (2006) 31,786,164 (4) $40,368,428
  11. Strictly Ballroom (1992) 21,760,400 (9) $39,603,928
  12. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) 5,120,000 (60) $35,020,800
  13. They’re A Weird Mob (1966) 2,417,000 (122) $30,550,880
  14. Lion (2017) 29,523,559 (5) $29,523,559
  15. Young Einstein (1988) 13,383,377 (21) $29,309,596
  16. The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994) 16,459,245 (15) $28,803,679
  17. The Great Gatsby (2013) 27,383,762 (7) $28,752,950
  18. Phar Lap (1983) 9,258,884 (33) $28,517,363
  19. Muriel’s Wedding (1994) 15,765,571 (17) $27,589,749
  20. The Dish (2000) 17,999,473 (13) $27,539,194
  21. Mad Max (1979) 5,355,490 (55) $24,421,034
  22. Red Dog (2011) 21,467,993 (11) $23,614,792
  23. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 21,685,344 (10) $21,902,197
  24. The Dressmaker (2015) 20,271,661 (12) $20,474,378
  25. The Piano (1993) 11,240,484 (25) $20,120,466
  26. Breaker Morant (1980) 4,735,000 (66) $19,602,900
  27. Green Card (Australia/France) (1991) 10,585,960 (29) $19,478,166
  28. Mao’s Last Dancer (2009) 15,440,315 (18) $18,065,169
  29. Lantana (2001) 12,286,683 (22) $17,938,557
  30. The Wog Boy (2000) 11,449,799 (24) $17,518,192
  31. Caddie (1976) 2,847,000 (103) $17,167,410
  32. The Castle (1997) 10,326,428 (30) $16,832,078
  33. Shine (1996) 10,167,416 (31) $16,572,888
  34. The Water Diviner (2014) 15,869,909 (16) $16,346,006
  35. Man from Snowy River II (1988) 7,415,000 (45) $16,238,850
  36. Storm Boy (1976) 2,645,000 (112) $15,949,350
  37. The Sapphires (2012) 14,534,474 (19) $15,697,232
  38. Tomorrow When the War Began (2010) 13,510,000 (20) $15,266,300
  39. Puberty Blues (1981) 3,918,000 (76) $14,810,040
  40. Alvin Rides Again (1974) 1,880,000 (142) $14,795,600
  41. My Brilliant Career (1979) 3,052,000 (96) $13,917,120
  42. Looking for Alibrandi (2000) 8,280,335 (38) $12,668,913
  43. Babe: Pig in the City (1998) 7,771,751 (40) $12,590,237
  44. The Man Who Sued God (2001) 8,546,867 (36) $12,478,426
  45. Stone (1974) 1,572,000 (162) $12,371,640
  46. Crackerjack (2002) 8,618,107 (35) $12,237,712
  47. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) 4,272,802 (72) $11,878,390
  48. Happy Feet Two (2011) 10,694,917 (28) $11,764,409
  49. Ned Kelly (Australia/UK) (2003) 8,365,984 (37) $11,545,058
  50. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (Australia/US) (2001) 7,759,103 (41) $11,328,290
  51. Lightning Jack (1994) 6,439,819 (49) $11,269,683
  52. Oddball (2015) 11,085,092 (26) $11,195,943
  53. Barry Mckenzie Holds His Own (1974) 1,407,000 (176) $11,073,090
  54. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) 7,562,439 (44) $10,738,663
  55. Petersen (1974) 1,363,000 (181) $10,726,810
  56. We of the Never Never (1982) 3,112,000 (94) $10,549,680
  57. Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tale  (1987) 4,317,000 (71) $10,101,780
  58. Eliza Fraser (1976) 1,672,000 (153) $10,082,160
  59. The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) 1,000,000 (221) $9,910,000
  60. Kenny (2006) 7,778,177 (39) $9,878,285
  61. Paper Planes (2015) 9,654,965 (32) $9,751,515
  62. Reckless Kelly (1993) 5,444,534 (54) $9,745,716
  63. Sunday Too Far Away (1975) 1,356,000 (183) $9,275,040
  64. Chopper (2000) 5,912,119 (52) $9,045,542
  65. Ned Kelly (1970) 808,000 (262) $9,009,200
  66. Malcolm (1986) 3,483,139 (84) $8,882,004
  67. Knowing (Australia/US) (2009) 7,588,162 (43) $8,878,150
  68. Hacksaw Ridge (2016) 8,857,936 (34) $8,857,936
  69. Two Hands (1999) 5,478,485 (53) $8,710,791
  70. Bran Nue Dae (2010) 7,680,192 (42) $8,678,617
  71. The Craic (1999) 5,265,935 (59) $8,372,837
  72. The Year Of Living Dangerously (1982) 2,393,000 (123) $8,112,270
  73. Wolf Creek (2005) 6,080,571 (51) $7,965,548
  74. Newsfront (1978) 1,576,000 (161) $7,832,720
  75. The Railway Man (Australia/UK) (2013) 7,285,409 (48) $7,649,679
  76. Hostage: The Christine Maresch Story (1983) 2,455,000 (115) $7,561,400
  77. The Power of One (1992) 4,140,956 (74) $7,536,540
  78. Careful He Might Hear You (1983) 2,431,126 (121) $7,487,868
  79. Last Cab to Darwin (2015) 7,401,374 (46) $7,475,388
  80. Antarctica  (1996) 4,546,482 (69) $7,410,766
  81. Red Dog: True Blue (2016) 7,384,663 (47) $7,384,663
  82. The Quiet American (2003) 5,339,542 (56) $7,368,568
  83. The Man From Hong Kong (1975) 1,066,000 (207) $7,291,440
  84. Dirty Deeds (2002) 5,083,187 (61) $7,218,126
  85. The Delinquents (1989) 3,370,650 (85) $6,876,126
  86. The Last Wave (1977) 1,258,000 (189) $6,755,460
  87. Jindabyne (2006) 5,302,912 (57) $6,734,698
  88. Far East (1982) 1,972,000 (138) $6,685,080
  89. Evil Angels (1988) 3,006,964 (97) $6,585,251
  90. Kath & Kimderella (2012) 6,081,439 (50) $6,567,954
  91. Strange Bedfellows (2004) 4,816,495 (64) $6,502,268
  92. Ride A Wild Pony (1975) 949,000 (231) $6,491,160
  93. Japanese Story (2003) 4,520,000 (70) $6,237,600
  94. Charlotte Gray (Australia/UK) (2002) 4,188,497 (73) $5,947,666
  95. The Box (1975) 857,000 (246) $5,861,880
  96. The Sum of Us (1994) 3,327,456 (87) $5,823,048
  97. Romper Stomper (1992) 3,165,034 (91) $5,760,362
  98. A Few Best Men (2012) 5,296,692 (58) $5,720,427
  99. Animal Kingdom (2010) 5,000,018 (62) $5,650,020
  100. Kings of Mykonos: The Wog Boy 2 (2010) 4,896,315 (63) $5,532,836
  101. The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) 3,892,095 (77) $5,526,775
  102. The Mango Tree (1977) 1,028,000 (215) $5,520,360
  103. Dark City (1998) 3,355,671 (86) $5,436,187
  104. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010) 4,783,037 (65) $5,404,832
  105. The Getting Of Wisdom (1977) 982,000 (226) $5,273,340
  106. Don’s Party (1976) 871,000 (242) $5,252,130
  107. Starstruck (1982) 1,541,000 (166) $5,223,990
  108. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith  (1978) 1,021,000 (216) $5,074,370
  109. Fat Pizza (2003) 3,651,320 (82) $5,038,822
  110. Little Fish (2005) 3,829,869 (81) $5,017,128
  111. Death in Brunswick (1991) 2,725,169 (106) $5,014,311
  112. Dead Calm (1989) 2,444,407 (118) $4,986,590
  113. Wolf Creek 2 (2014) 4,732,168 (67) $4,874,133
  114. Stork (1971) 463,000 (316) $4,866,130
  115. Sirens (Australia/UK) (1994) 2,780,639 (104) $4,866,118
  116. Paradise Road (1997) 2,970,653 (98) $4,842,164
  117. The Heartbreak Kid (1993) 2,658,819 (111) $4,759,286
  118. Cosi (1996) 2,896,980 (102) $4,722,077
  119. Queen of the Damned (2002) 3,204,388 (89) $4,550,231
  120. Charlie & Boots (2009) 3,866,823 (79) $4,524,183
  121. High Rolling  (1977) 841,000 (251) $4,516,170
  122. The Big Steal (1990) 2,351,628 (125) $4,468,093
  123. Ten Canoes (2006) 3,512,946 (83) $4,461,441
  124. Mental (2012) 4,080,835 (75) $4,407,302
  125. Fatty Finn (1980) 1,064,000 (208) $4,404,960
  126. Wiggles Movie (1997) 2,678,686 (109) $4,366,258
  127. The Wiggles (1997) 2,678,486 (110) $4,365,932
  128. Burke And Wills (1985) 1,567,000 (165) $4,356,260
  129. Dating The Enemy (1996) 2,620,325 (113) $4,271,130
  130. Sanctum (2011) 3,871,962 (78) $4,259,158
  131. Oranges and Sunshine (Australia/UK) (2011) 3,848,486 (80) $4,233,335
  132. The Hard Word (2002) 2,957,456 (100) $4,199,588
  133. Bootmen (2000) 2,720,302 (107) $4,162,062
  134. Running On Empty (1982) 1,218,000 (195) $4,129,020
  135. Me Myself I (2000) 2,698,330 (108) $4,128,445
  136. Coolangatta Gold  (1984) 1,365,000 (180) $4,054,050
  137. Kokoda (2006) 3,138,501 (92) $3,985,896
  138. Boytown (2006) 3,135,972 (93) $3,982,684
  139. Proof (1991) 2,163,958 (132) $3,981,683
  140. The Odd Angry Shot (1979) 866,000 (244) $3,948,960
  141. Look Both Ways (2005) 2,969,712 (99) $3,890,323
  142. The F.J. Holden (1977) 710,000 (277) $3,812,700
  143. The Lighthorsemen (1987) 1,617,288 (159) $3,784,454
  144. Samson and Delilah (2009) 3,188,931 (90) $3,731,049
  145. Black Robe (1992) 2,036,056 (136) $3,705,622
  146. Tim (1979) 809,000 (260) $3,689,040
  147. Burke & Wills (1987) 1,567,000 (164) $3,666,780
  148. Bright Star (Australia/UK) (2009) 3,110,560 (95) $3,639,355
  149. Beneath Hill 60 (2010) 3,220,187 (88) $3,638,811
  150. Winter Of Our Dreams (1981) 959,000 (230) $3,625,020
  151. The Bank (2001) 2,451,648 (116) $3,579,406
  152. The Year My Voice Broke (1987) 1,513,000 (168) $3,540,420
  153. Blue Fin (1978) 703,000 (280) $3,493,910
  154. Blinky Bill (1992) 1,903,659 (141) $3,464,659
  155. The Pirate Movie (1982) 1,013,000 (218) $3,434,070
  156. Travelling North (1987) 1,464,000 (172) $3,425,760
  157. An Angel At My Table (1990) 1,790,577 (145) $3,402,096
  158. Ginger Meggs (1982) 990,000 (223) $3,356,100
  159. Napoleon (1996) 2,051,855 (135) $3,344,524
  160. The Club (1980) 804,000 (263) $3,328,560
  161. The Chain Reaction (1980) 796,000 (265) $3,295,440
  162. Bad Eggs (2003) 2,318,089 (126) $3,198,963
  163. Bliss (1985) 1,144,863 (201) $3,182,719
  164. Ghost Ship (2002) 2,232,932 (130) $3,170,763
  165. Gettin’ Square (2003) 2,292,587 (127) $3,163,770
  166. The Irishman (1978) 622,000 (287) $3,091,340
  167. Three To Tango (1999) 1,940,552 (139) $3,085,478
  168. Flirting (1991) 1,655,044 (155) $3,045,281
  169. The Picture Show Man (1977) 566,014 (293) $3,039,495
  170. Joey (1997) 1,855,557 (144) $3,024,558
  171. The Cup (2011) 2,749,218 (105) $3,024,140
  172. Romulus, My Father (2007) 2,436,888 (120) $3,021,741
  173. Oyster Farmer (2005) 2,249,528 (129) $2,946,882
  174. Blinky Bill the Movie (2015) 2,908,162 (101) $2,937,244
  175. Somersault (2004) 2,156,574 (133) $2,911,375
  176. Head On (1998) 1,788,613 (146) $2,897,553
  177. Oscar And Lucinda (1998) 1,768,946 (148) $2,865,693
  178. The Magic Riddle (1991) 1,510,536 (169) $2,779,386
  179. Daybreakers (2010) 2,448,050 (117) $2,766,297
  180. The Silver Brumby (1993) 1,532,649 (167) $2,743,442
  181. Spotswood (1992) 1,505,684 (170) $2,740,345
  182. The Proposition (2005) 2,084,683 (134) $2,730,935
  183. The Nugget (2002) 1,920,993 (140) $2,727,810
  184. The Black Balloon (2008) 2,265,689 (128) $2,696,170
  185. I Love You Too  (2010) 2,365,467 (124) $2,672,978
  186. Love And Other Catastrophes (1996) 1,637,929 (156) $2,669,824
  187. The Boys Are Back (2009) 2,183,723 (131) $2,554,956
  188. Tracks (2014) 2,443,817 (119) $2,517,132
  189. The Love Epidemic (1975) 367,000 (350) $2,510,280
  190. Dusty (1983) 810,000 (258) $2,494,800
  191. Jasper Jones (2017) 2,489,883 (114) $2,489,883
  192. Mr. Accident (2000) 1,611,350 (160) $2,465,366
  193. Rebel (1985) 886,769 (240) $2,465,218
  194. Hating Allison Ashley (2005) 1,869,069 (143) $2,448,480
  195. Felicity (1979) 532,000 (299) $2,425,920
  196. Razorback (1984) 801,000 (264) $2,378,970
  197. Rikky And Pete (1988) 1,071,375 (205) $2,346,311
  198. In The Cut (2003) 1,666,830 (154) $2,300,225
  199. The Little Convict (1979) 495,000 (308) $2,257,200
  200. Melvin, Son Of Alvin (1984) 751,143 (270) $2,230,895
  201. ABC of Love and Sex Australia Style  (1978) 447,000 (324) $2,221,590
  202. Rogue (2007) 1,786,767 (147) $2,215,591
  203. Holy Smoke (1999) 1,378,546 (177) $2,191,888
  204. Paperback Hero (1999) 1,369,280 (179) $2,177,155
  205. Street Hero (1984) 729,344 (274) $2,166,152
  206. Disturbing Behavior Us (1999) 1,346,874 (185) $2,141,530
  207. Bra Boys (2007) 1,678,459 (152) $2,081,289
  208. Blurred (2002) 1,453,078 (173) $2,063,371
  209. Candy (2006) 1,620,166 (157) $2,057,611
  210. Sally Marshall Is Not An Alien (1999) 1,291,802 (188) $2,053,965
  211. Dad And Dave On Our Selection (1995) 1,222,051 (193) $2,053,046
  212. Hotel Sorrento (1995) 1,215,478 (196) $2,042,003
  213. Crackers (1998) 1,255,623 (190) $2,034,109
  214. The Devil’s Playground (1976) 334,000 (363) $2,014,020
  215. Dance Academy: The Movie (2017) 2,001,047 (137) $2,001,047
  216. Razzle Dazzle – A Journey Into Dance (2007) 1,567,818 (163) $1,944,094
  217. Beautiful Kate  (2009) 1,618,490 (158) $1,893,633
  218. Garage Days (2002) 1,328,769 (187) $1,886,852
  219. The Eye of the Storm (2011) 1,686,427 (151) $1,855,070
  220. The Last Days Of Chez Nous (1992) 1,018,866 (217) $1,854,336
  221. Blackrock (1997) 1,136,983 (202) $1,853,282
  222. Goddess (2013) 1,759,081 (149) $1,847,035
  223. Angel Baby (1995) 1,070,726 (206) $1,798,820
  224. Three Dollars (2005) 1,371,447 (178) $1,796,596
  225. Mr. Nice Guy  (1989) 869,715 (243) $1,774,219
  226. The Daughter (2016) 1,752,633 (150) $1,752,633
  227. Better Than Sex (2000) 1,128,872 (203) $1,727,174
  228. The Wannabes (2003) 1,227,588 (192) $1,694,071
  229. Mary and Max  (2009) 1,444,617 (174) $1,690,202
  230. Mullet (2001) 1,157,161 (199) $1,689,455
  231. Clubland (2007) 1,351,125 (184) $1,675,395
  232. Innocence (2000) 1,063,539 (209) $1,627,215
  233. Red Planet Us (2000) 1,063,454 (210) $1,627,085
  234. Any Questions for Ben? (2012) 1,504,396 (171) $1,624,748
  235. The Magic Pudding (2000) 1,054,893 (212) $1,613,986
  236. Children Of The Revolution (1996) 969,444 (228) $1,580,194
  237. White Fang (1991) 852,366 (248) $1,568,353
  238. Wish You Were Here (2012) 1,443,991 (175) $1,559,510
  239. Balibo  (2009) 1,330,863 (186) $1,557,110
  240. One Perfect Day (2004) 1,152,011 (200) $1,555,215
  241. Hotel De Love (1996) 943,903 (232) $1,538,562
  242. End Play (1997) 941,000 (233) $1,533,830
  243. Monkey Grip (1982) 451,000 (322) $1,528,890
  244. Pacific Banana (1981) 404,000 (336) $1,527,120
  245. Harlequin (1980) 364,000 (352) $1,506,960
  246. The Money Movers (1979) 330,000 (365) $1,504,800
  247. Spider And Rose (1994) 856,095 (247) $1,498,166
  248. Metal Skin (1995) 883,521 (241) $1,484,315
  249. Occasional Coarse Language (1998) 909,475 (236) $1,473,350
  250. Kiss Or Kill (1997) 901,871 (238) $1,470,050
  251. Housos Vs Authority (2012) 1,360,703 (182) $1,469,559
  252. Les Patterson Saves The World (1987) 626,000 (286) $1,464,840
  253. Danny Deckchair (2003) 1,049,723 (213) $1,448,618
  254. Children of the Silk Road  (2008) 1,200,373 (197) $1,428,444
  255. Bad Boy Bubby (1994) 808,789 (261) $1,415,381
  256. All Men Are Liars (1995) 836,606 (254) $1,405,498
  257. The Pact (2002) 982,317 (225) $1,394,890
  258. Darkness Falls Us (2003) 1,010,132 (219) $1,393,982
  259. Liquid Bridge  (2003) 1,000,112 (220) $1,380,155
  260. Idiot Box (1997) 837,639 (253) $1,365,352
  261. Disgrace  (2009) 1,166,294 (198) $1,364,564
  262. Love Serenade (1996) 836,110 (255) $1,362,859
  263. Road To Nhill (1997) 834,949 (256) $1,360,967
  264. Blood Oath (1990) 707,194 (279) $1,343,669
  265. Love’s Brother (2004) 977,106 (227) $1,319,093
  266. My Year Without Sex  (2009) 1,125,871 (204) $1,317,269
  267. The Turning (2013) 1,248,511 (191) $1,310,937
  268. Midnite Spares (1983) 417,000 (331) $1,284,360
  269. The Cup (2000) 839,344 (252) $1,284,196
  270. Return to Nim’s Island (2013) 1,220,248 (194) $1,281,260
  271. Take Away (2003) 926,796 (234) $1,278,978
  272. The Clinic (1983) 414,000 (332) $1,275,120
  273. Australia: Land Beyond Time  (2003) 911,679 (235) $1,258,117
  274. Swimming Upstream (2003) 896,735 (239) $1,237,494
  275. My First Wife (1984) 413,199 (333) $1,227,201
  276. Thunderstruck (2004) 908,294 (237) $1,226,197
  277. Man Of Flowers (1983) 396,041 (340) $1,219,806
  278. Inn Of The Damned (1975) 178,000 (436) $1,217,520
  279. Turkey Shoot (1981) 321,000 (367) $1,213,380
  280. The Real Macaw (1998) 741,576 (273) $1,201,353
  281. He Died with a Felafel in his Hand  (2001) 820,999 (257) $1,198,659
  282. Mrs. Carey’s Concert (2011) 1,062,982 (211) $1,169,281
  283. Alexandra’s Project (2003) 844,494 (249) $1,165,402
  284. Bushfire Moon  (1987) 493,871 (309) $1,155,658
  285. Police Rescue (1994) 658,814 (282) $1,152,925
  286. Unfinished Sky (2008) 966,160 (229) $1,149,730
  287. The Boys (1998) 709,038 (278) $1,148,642
  288. Snowtown (2011) 1,034,722 (214) $1,138,195
  289. Sydney: Story of a City (1999) 711,609 (276) $1,131,458
  290. The Tracker (2002) 791,143 (266) $1,123,423
  291. Molokai: The Story Of Father Damien (2002) 763,524 (269) $1,084,204
  292. The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) 480,344 (313) $1,051,953
  293. Siam Sunset (1999) 657,185 (283) $1,044,924
  294. Drift (2013) 983,974 (224) $1,033,173
  295. Noise (2007) 809,634 (259) $1,003,946
  296. Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger (2008) 843,029 (250) $1,003,205
  297. Holding the Man (2015) 991,969 (222) $1,001,888
  298. Doing Time For Patsy Cline (1997) 609,180 (288) $992,963
  299. The Extra (2005) 749,118 (271) $981,345
  300. Amy (1998) 599,724 (289) $971,553
  301. Map Of The Human Heart (1993) 539,000 (298) $964,810
  302. The Hunter (2011) 865,322 (245) $951,854
  303. Soft Fruit (1999) 596,704 (290) $948,759
  304. Yolngu Boy (2001) 645,700 (284) $942,722
  305. Thank God He Met Lizzie (1997) 565,747 (294) $922,168
  306. Praise (1999) 576,792 (291) $917,099
  307. Love the Beast  (2009) 777,351 (268) $909,501
  308. Heatwave (1982) 267,000 (385) $905,130
  309. You And Your Stupid Mate (2005) 688,491 (281) $901,923
  310. Dogs In Space (1987) 367,351 (349) $859,601
  311. Lilian’s Story (1996) 524,526 (301) $854,977
  312. Death Defying Acts  (2008) 713,741 (275) $849,352
  313. True Love And Chaos (1997) 519,573 (303) $846,904
  314. Dead Heart (1996) 518,203 (304) $844,671
  315. The Interview (1998) 516,058 (305) $836,014
  316. The Sound Of One Hand Clapping (1998) 512,264 (306) $829,868
  317. The Last Of The Knucklemen (1979) 180,000 (434) $820,800
  318. Australian Rules (2002) 567,333 (292) $805,613
  319. Predestination (2014) 779,474 (267) $802,858
  320. Bloodmoon (1990) 419,769 (330) $797,561
  321. Welcome To Woop Woop (1998) 489,725 (310) $793,355
  322. Gross Misconduct (1993) 439,598 (326) $786,880
  323. December Boys  (2007) 633,606 (285) $785,671
  324. Beneath Clouds (2002) 541,357 (297) $768,727
  325. Goldstone (2016) 742,953 (272) $742,953
  326. Paws (1997) 455,171 (320) $741,929
  327. Quigley Down Under (1991) 399,617 (339) $735,295
  328. Moving Out (1983) 235,261 (399) $724,604
  329. Cut (2000) 464,852 (314) $711,224
  330. Footy Legends (2006) 557,331 (295) $707,810
  331. Vincent -The Life & Death Of Vincent Van Gogh (1987) 301,205 (376) $704,820
  332. Sacred Sex (1991) 381,844 (344) $702,593
  333. Nightmares (1980) 168,000 (444) $695,520
  334. The Night We Called It A Day (2003) 501,833 (307) $692,530
  335. Sweetie (1989) 337,680 (361) $688,867
  336. Russian Doll (2001) 464,065 (315) $677,535
  337. Risk (2001) 460,760 (317) $672,710
  338. The Slim Dusty Movie (1984) 225,000 (405) $668,250
  339. Eye Of The Beholder (2000) 435,471 (327) $666,271
  340. The Rage In Placid Lake (2003) 482,793 (312) $666,254
  341. Radiance (1998) 408,165 (334) $661,227
  342. Turtle Beach (1992) 359,381 (355) $654,073
  343. La Spagnola (2001) 441,880 (325) $645,145
  344. The Well (1997) 393,920 (341) $642,090
  345. Country Life (1994) 360,957 (354) $631,675
  346. Robbery Under Arms (1985) 226,648 (404) $630,081
  347. Dying Breed (2008) 525,384 (300) $625,207
  348. Waiting City (2010) 544,888 (296) $615,723
  349. Cathy’s child  (1979) 135,000 (466) $615,600
  350. Strange Planet (1999) 377,615 (345) $600,408
  351. Tarzan And The Lost City (1998) 365,033 (351) $591,353
  352. Silver City (1984) 197,639 (420) $586,988
  353. The Caterpillar Wish (2006) 456,018 (319) $579,143
  354. Molly (1983) 188,000 (425) $579,040
  355. Hercules Returns (1993) 318,788 (368) $570,631
  356. 2:37 (2006) 447,390 (323) $568,185
  357. Selkie (2000) 371,198 (346) $567,933
  358. Feeling Sexy (1999) 356,363 (356) $566,617
  359. Home Song Stories  (2007) 452,488 (321) $561,085
  360. Unfolding Florence (2006) 429,243 (328) $545,139
  361. Fat Pizza vs. Housos (2014) 520,427 (302) $536,040
  362. Blessed (2009) 457,898 (318) $535,741
  363. Peaches (2005) 406,604 (335) $532,651
  364. Freedom (1982) 157,000 (451) $532,230
  365. Not Suitable for Children (2012) 486,468 (311) $525,386
  366. In A Savage Land (1999) 314,549 (370) $500,133
  367. Forbidden Lie$  (2007) 401,027 (338) $497,273
  368. For Love Alone (1986) 193,000 (423) $492,150
  369. High Tide (1987) 206,185 (411) $482,473
  370. Aussie assault  (1984) 162,412 (446) $482,364
  371. Walking On Water (2002) 339,690 (360) $482,360
  372. Twelfth Night (1997) 295,762 (379) $482,092
  373. Passion (1999) 302,818 (374) $481,481
  374. My Mother Frank (2000) 307,381 (372) $470,293
  375. Strikebound (1984) 157,000 (450) $466,290
  376. Until the End of the World (1992) 254,617 (393) $463,403
  377. Last Ride  (2009) 388,722 (342) $454,805
  378. God On My Side (2006) 355,120 (357) $451,002
  379. Storm Surfers 3D (2013) 428,323 (329) $449,739
  380. The Jammed (2007) 361,524 (353) $448,290
  381. Irresistible (2006) 351,992 (358) $447,030
  382. The Fringe Dwellers (1986) 174,433 (438) $444,804
  383. Frog Dreaming  (1986) 171,000 (441) $436,050
  384. Suburban Mayhem (2006) 342,600 (359) $435,102
  385. The Nostradamus Kid (1993) 242,800 (398) $434,612
  386. Mr. Reliable (1997) 266,329 (386) $434,116
  387. Next of Kin  (1990) 228,251 (402) $433,677
  388. Dead Letter Office (1998) 265,478 (387) $430,074
  389. Dear Claudia (1999) 265,464 (388) $422,088
  390. Ground Zero (1987) 178,576 (435) $417,868
  391. The Rover (2014) 401,693 (337) $413,744
  392. Paul Kelly: Stories of Me (2012) 368,620 (348) $398,110
  393. These Final Hours (2014) 382,414 (343) $393,886
  394. Stanley: Every Home Should Have One (1984) 132,468 (469) $393,430
  395. Emerald City (1989) 192,831 (424) $393,375
  396. Secrets (1992) 215,188 (406) $391,642
  397. Bmx Bandits (1983) 124,649 (478) $383,919
  398. The Square (2008) 321,768 (366) $382,904
  399. Bush Christmas (1983) 122,035 (482) $375,868
  400. Alex & Eve (2015) 371,008 (347) $374,718
  401. Fighting back  (1983) 121,000 (485) $372,680
  402. One Night The Moon (2001) 251,776 (396) $367,593
  403. Wake in Fright (re-release) (2009) 312,323 (371) $365,418
  404. Two Fists One Heart (2009) 305,300 (373) $357,201
  405. Fortess (1986) 139,000 (459) $354,450
  406. The Rocket (2013) 336,156 (362) $352,964
  407. The Final winter  (2007) 284,354 (382) $352,599
  408. You Can’t Stop The Murders (2003) 254,371 (394) $351,032
  409. Lucky Break (1994) 197,540 (421) $345,695
  410. The Book of Revelation (2006) 271,261 (384) $344,501
  411. The Wild Duck (1984) 115,664 (489) $343,522
  412. I Am Eleven (2014) 333,355 (364) $343,356
  413. Salute of the Jugger (1989) 168,117 (443) $342,959
  414. Waiting (1991) 185,600 (427) $341,504
  415. Tom White (2004) 252,191 (395) $340,458
  416. Van Diemen’s Land (2009) 289,353 (380) $338,543
  417. The Loved Ones (2010) 298,217 (377) $336,985
  418. Diana And Me (1997) 205,783 (412) $335,426
  419. Let’S Get Skase (2001) 228,186 (403) $333,152
  420. One Night Stand (1984) 111,978 (492) $332,575
  421. Dust Off The Wings (1997) 202,099 (414) $329,421
  422. I, Frankenstein (2014) 318,233 (369) $327,780
  423. Rats In The Ranks (1996) 200,000 (415) $326,000
  424. Brilliant Lies (1996) 199,329 (417) $324,906
  425. Year Of The Dogs (1997) 199,191 (418) $324,681
  426. Mary (1994) 181,960 (431) $318,430
  427. Mystery Road (2013) 302,644 (375) $317,776
  428. South Solitary (2010) 279,341 (383) $315,655
  429. Singh is King (2008) 263,091 (389) $313,078
  430. Lucky Miles (2007) 251,440 (397) $311,786
  431. Fran (1985) 111,903 (493) $311,090
  432. The More Things Change (1986) 121,924 (483) $310,906
  433. Weekend of Shadows (1978) 61,000 (539) $303,170
  434. Ruben Guthrie (2015) 296,473 (378) $299,437
  435. Attack force Z (1982) 88,000 (515) $298,320
  436. The Earthling  (1980) 72,000 (534) $298,080
  437. Fast Talking (1984) 100,118 (502) $297,350
  438. What I Have Written (1996) 182,064 (430) $296,764
  439. Macbeth  (2006) 232,994 (401) $295,902
  440. Healing  (2014) 286,564 (381) $295,161
  441. Mad Bastards (2011) 261,577 (390) $287,734
  442. The Crop (2004) 208,739 (408) $281,798
  443. Salute (2008) 233,411 (400) $277,759
  444. Lust And Revenge (1997) 170,000 (442) $277,100
  445. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (1988) 126,359 (475) $276,726
  446. Backyard Ashes (2013) 256,896 (392) $269,741
  447. Facing The Music Doco (2001) 182,901 (428) $267,035
  448. Windrider (1986) 104,292 (496) $265,945
  449. The Babadook (2014) 258,000 (391) $265,740
  450. Newcastle (2008) 213,563 (407) $254,140
  451. Black And White  (2002) 177,886 (437) $252,598
  452. Buddies (1983) 81,777 (523) $251,873
  453. Serenades (2001) 171,984 (440) $251,097
  454. The Honourable Wally Norman  (2003) 181,395 (432) $250,325
  455. The Good Woman Of Bangkok (1992) 137,044 (461) $249,420
  456. Playing Beattie Bow  (1986) 97,306 (505) $248,130
  457. War on Democracy (2007) 199,500 (416) $247,380
  458. Erskineville Kings (1999) 155,082 (452) $246,580
  459. Stunt Rock (1979) 54,000 (552) $246,240
  460. 48 Shades (2006) 193,330 (422) $245,529
  461. The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (2004) 181,287 (433) $244,737
  462. Subdivision (2009) 206,350 (410) $241,430
  463. Dingo (1992) 132,500 (467) $241,150
  464. Cedar Boys (2009) 204,160 (413) $238,867
  465. The Magician (2005) 182,164 (429) $238,635
  466. The Journalist (1979) 52,000 (555) $237,120
  467. The Umbrella Woman (1987) 100,189 (501) $234,442
  468. Island (1989) 114,764 (490) $234,119
  469. Nirvana Street Murder (1991) 126,028 (476) $231,892
  470. Floating Life (1996) 141,398 (456) $230,479
  471. Time guardian (1987) 97,728 (504) $228,684
  472. Traps (1994) 130,500 (472) $228,375
  473. Dance Me To My Song (1998) 138,694 (460) $224,684
  474. Not Quite Hollywood (2008) 186,986 (426) $222,513
  475. Under the Radar (2004) 162,757 (445) $219,722
  476. A Little Bit Of Soul (1998) 135,437 (465) $219,408
  477. The Monkey’s Mask (2001) 150,177 (455) $219,258
  478. Save Your Legs! (2013) 207,052 (409) $217,405
  479. A Man’s Gotta Do (2004) 154,971 (453) $209,211
  480. Mallboy (2001) 139,813 (458) $204,127
  481. Cunnamulla  (2000) 132,485 (468) $202,702
  482. Sweet Talker (1991) 109,638 (494) $201,734
  483. Looking for Grace (2016) 197,801 (419) $197,801
  484. Sky Pirates (1986) 76,170 (524) $194,234
  485. Life (1996) 118,981 (486) $193,939
  486. Sensitive New-Age Killer (2001) 132,204 (470) $193,018
  487. Cactus (2008) 160,934 (448) $191,511
  488. Dot and Keeto  (1986) 74,376 (529) $189,659
  489. Undead (2003) 136,521 (463) $188,399
  490. Cactus (1986) 73,751 (530) $188,065
  491. Till Human Voices Wake Us (2002) 131,921 (471) $187,328
  492. Horses: The Story Of Equus (2002) 129,685 (473) $184,153
  493. Satellite Boy (2013) 174,426 (439) $183,147
  494. Grievous Bodily Harm  (1988) 82,267 (522) $180,165
  495. Kitty and the Bagman  (1983) 58,407 (545) $179,894
  496. Horseplay (2005) 136,034 (464) $178,205
  497. Accidents Happen  (2010) 157,131 (449) $177,558
  498. Body Work (1989) 85,700 (519) $174,828
  499. Dead End Drive-In (1986) 68,000 (537) $173,400
  500. Wind (1993) 96,793 (506) $173,259
  501. Wonderful World Of Dogs (1990) 90,991 (510) $172,883
  502. My Mother India  (2003) 123,000 (481) $169,740
  503. The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) 55,110 (551) $169,739
  504. Running from the Guns (1987) 72,356 (533) $169,313
  505. The Little Death (2014) 161,782 (447) $166,636
  506. The Crossing  (1990) 87,392 (518) $166,045
  507. Kangaroo (1986) 63,973 (538) $163,131
  508. In The Winter Dark (1998) 100,635 (500) $163,029
  509. Deck Dogz (2005) 124,302 (480) $162,836
  510. Hurricane Smith  (1992) 89,467 (511) $162,830
  511. Over the Hill  (1992) 87,672 (517) $159,563
  512. Solo (2006) 124,613 (479) $158,259
  513. Cool Change (1986) 60,868 (540) $155,213
  514. Charlie’s Country (2014) 150,627 (454) $155,146
  515. Love, Lust & Lies  (2010) 136,595 (462) $154,352
  516. The Goddess of 1967  (2001) 103,449 (498) $151,036
  517. Son of a Lion (2008) 124,668 (477) $148,355
  518. Minnamurra  (1989) 72,462 (532) $147,822
  519. Adoration (2013) 139,941 (457) $146,938
  520. 4 (2007) 118,270 (487) $146,655
  521. Griff the Invisible (2011) 129,532 (474) $142,485
  522. Breakfast In Paris  (1982) 42,000 (564) $142,380
  523. Voyage that Shook the World (2009) 116,436 (488) $136,230
  524. River Street (1997) 82,940 (521) $135,192
  525. The Place at the Coast (1987) 57,400 (546) $134,316
  526. Burning Man (2011) 121,667 (484) $133,834
  527. Black Water  (2008) 111,989 (491) $133,267
  528. Love in Limbo  (1993) 74,448 (528) $133,262
  529. Undercover (1984) 44,666 (560) $132,658
  530. Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns  (2002) 92,142 (508) $130,842
  531. Last Train To Freo (2006) 102,726 (499) $130,462
  532. Only the Brave  (1995) 75,921 (525) $127,547
  533. Trojan warrior (2002) 88,059 (514) $125,044
  534. Tempted (2002) 87,939 (516) $124,873
  535. Luigi’s Ladies  (1989) 60,814 (541) $124,061
  536. Billy’s Holiday  (1995) 68,472 (536) $115,033
  537. Stone Bros. (2009) 98,032 (503) $114,697
  538. Return Home (1990) 60,000 (543) $114,000
  539. Night (2008) 94,196 (507) $112,093
  540. Walkabout (Director’s Cut) (1996) 68,710 (535) $111,997
  541. A Dangerous Summer  (1982) 33,000 (569) $111,870
  542. Walk the Talk (2001) 75,910 (526) $110,829
  543. Gone (2007) 88,748 (512) $110,048
  544. On My Own  (1993) 60,000 (542) $107,400
  545. Now and Forever  (1983) 34,671 (566) $106,787
  546. UNindian (2015) 104,311 (495) $105,354
  547. Australian Dream  (1987) 45,000 (559) $105,300
  548. Joe Cinque’s Consolation (2016) 104,288 (497) $104,288
  549. First Contact (2003) 75,431 (527) $104,095
  550. Dr. Plonk  (2007) 83,450 (520) $103,478
  551. The Marriage of Figaro (2009) 88,438 (513) $103,472
  552. Summer Coda (2010) 91,246 (509) $103,108
  553. Australian Made  (1987) 43,479 (562) $101,741
  554. The Coca-Cola Kid (1985) 36,365 (565) $101,095

2. The ‘Real’ Box Office Figures for Australian Movies Overseas

This is a much trickier proposition. Though the international box office is where the big money can be made for a happy few Australian films, the figures are more difficult to find and the results for many films in many countries are missing. More information was found for films that were big successes overseas, particularly for more recent films. In many cases, however figures were found for only the US box office, or only a small set of countries. So the list below represents the best figures available from publicly available sources.

The figures came mainly from two sources:

  • Box Office Mojo which lists the takings (in $US) for as many countries as they have data for. Sometimes this covers 50 countries, sometimes only the US;
  • Screen Australia which has figures (in the local currency) for top films in the US, the UK and Germany.

These figures were converted to Oz dollars at the exchange rate at the time, then adjusted for inflation to convert to 2016 Aussie dollars (see Sources below for more info on this). The figures from each source were very similar for countries they covered, and differences came chiefly from the countries covered. I chose the higher figure where they differed:

  • In 40% of cases, the figures from both sources were the same;
  • In 40% of cases, Box Office Mojo had a higher figure;
  • In 20% of cases, Screen Australia had a higher figure.

Most of these films made the bulk of their money in the US market. The films that did better in the UK than in the US tended to be those that either had a British connection (actor, character, director etc) or concerned a very Australian theme that the British could relate to better than could the Americans. A few surprising films did best in Germany – apart from a few German co-productions, the Germans liked the indie rom-com Love and Other Catastrophes and the retro-gangster comedy Dirty Deeds. Go figure.

2. Box Office Figures for Australian Movies Internationally – Adjusted for Inflation

The first dollar figure is the original box office in Australian dollars; the second figure (in red) is the equivalent in 2016 Australian dollars.

Listed in this order Title,  (Year),  International Box Office* (AUD),  (Rank*),  International Box Office (Best) in 2016 AUD (* = not adjusted for inflation)

  1. Crocodile Dundee (1986) $436,940,778 (3) $1,114,198,985
  2. Happy Feet (2006) $481,757,752 (1) $611,832,345
  3. Crocodile Dundee II (1988) $250,413,699 (7) $548,406,000
  4. Babe (1995) $320,515,237 (6) $538,465,598
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) $472,378,368 (2) $477,102,152
  6. Moulin Rouge (2001) $324,844,832 (5) $474,273,454
  7. The Great Gatsby (2013) $351,221,567 (4) $368,782,645
  8. Knowing (Australia/US) (2009) $219,125,614 (9) $256,376,968
  9. Australia (2008) $192,001,580 (11) $228,481,880
  10. Hacksaw Ridge (2016) $226,630,560 (8) $226,630,560
  11. Antarctica (IMAX documentary) (1991) $118,225,465 (15) $217,534,856
  12. Gods of Egypt (2017) $193,527,223 (10) $193,527,223
  13. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010) $158,868,858 (12) $179,521,810
  14. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) $62,423,466 (22) $173,537,234
  15. Babe: Pig in the City (1998) $104,912,617 (16) $169,958,440
  16. The Piano (1993) $86,023,465 (18) $153,982,002
  17. Lion (2017) $153,401,539 (13) $153,401,539
  18. Happy Feet Two (2011) $127,190,146 (14) $139,909,161
  19. Green Card (Australia/France) (1990) $68,123,538 (21) $129,434,722
  20. Sanctum (2011) $95,638,591 (17) $105,202,451
  21. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (Australia/US) (2001) $70,110,083 (20) $102,360,721
  22. Shine (1996) $58,851,562 (23) $95,928,045
  23. Mad Max 2 (1982) $27,410,570 (33) $92,921,831
  24. The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) $54,941,061 (25) $78,016,306
  25. I, Frankenstein (2014) $75,197,833 (19) $77,453,768
  26. Muriel’s Wedding (1995) $44,576,764 (27) $74,888,963
  27. The Man from Snowy River (1982) $20,208,767 (37) $68,507,722
  28. Dark City (1998) $40,980,622 (28) $66,388,608
  29. Daybreakers (2010) $57,840,313 (24) $65,359,554
  30. Killer Elite (2011) $50,957,593 (26) $56,053,352
  31. Strictly Ballroom (1993) $30,354,945 (31) $54,335,352
  32. Young Einstein (1989) $26,318,903 (34) $53,690,562
  33. Lightning Jack (1994) $28,051,089 (32) $49,089,406
  34. Wolf Creek (2005) $30,379,335 (30) $39,796,929
  35. The Man from Snowy River II (1988) $17,238,069 (41) $37,751,372
  36. The Year of Living Dangerously (1983) $11,753,659 (47) $36,201,270
  37. Africa’s Elephant Kingdom (IMAX documentary) (1998) $21,981,182 (36) $35,609,514
  38. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) $19,814,029 (38) $34,674,551
  39. The Water Diviner (2015) $33,704,845 (29) $34,041,894
  40. Mad Max (1981) $8,809,398 (52) $33,299,525
  41. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) $22,062,665 (35) $31,328,984
  42. Sirens (Australia/UK) (1994) $17,705,709 (40) $30,984,991
  43. Lantana (2001) $18,958,705 (39) $27,679,710
  44. The Pirate Movie (1982) $7,808,946 (54) $26,472,329
  45. Evil Angels (1988) $10,933,693 (48) $23,944,787
  46. Breaker Morant (1981) $6,222,001 (57) $23,519,163
  47. Black Robe (Australia/Canada) (1991) $12,627,584 (45) $23,234,754
  48. Dead Calm (1989) $10,461,719 (50) $21,341,907
  49. The Dish (2001) $13,776,715 (44) $20,114,004
  50. Gallipoli (1981) $4,993,543 (61) $18,875,591
  51. The Railway Man (Australia/UK) (2014) $17,036,108 (42) $17,547,192
  52. Bright Star (Australia/UK) (2009) $14,521,627 (43) $16,990,303
  53. The Delinquents (1989) $7,185,104 (56) $14,657,613
  54. The Dressmaker (2015) $12,178,426 (46) $12,300,210
  55. The Babadook (2014) $10,689,495 (49) $11,010,180
  56. Mao’s Last Dancer (2010) $9,692,703 (51) $10,952,755
  57. Careful, He Might Hear You (1984) $3,411,331 (67) $10,131,652
  58. Phar Lap (1984) $3,341,930 (68) $9,925,531
  59. Paws (1998) $5,909,476 (60) $9,573,351
  60. Charlotte Gray (Australia/UK) (2001) $6,096,784 (59) $8,901,305
  61. Map of the Human Heart (Australia/Canada/UK) (1993) $4,785,428 (63) $8,565,916
  62. Iron Sky (2012) $7,752,735 (55) $8,372,954
  63. Maya the Bee Movie (Australia/Germany) (2015) $8,183,509 (53) $8,265,345
  64. Innocence (2001) $4,900,591 (62) $7,154,863
  65. Flirting (1992) $3,719,578 (65) $6,769,631
  66. The Sapphires (2013) $6,137,061 (58) $6,443,914
  67. The Proposition (Australia/UK) (2006) $4,683,744 (64) $5,948,355
  68. Until the End of the World (Australia/France/Germany) (1991) $3,162,647 (70) $5,819,270
  69. Holy Smoke (1999) $3,449,974 (66) $5,485,458
  70. Oscar and Lucinda (1997) $3,170,411 (69) $5,167,769
  71. Turkey Shoot (1983) $1,617,871 (88) $4,983,042
  72. Paradise Road (1997) $2,692,287 (76) $4,388,428
  73. Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh (1988) $1,986,751 (82) $4,350,984
  74. Napoleon (1997) $2,639,547 (77) $4,302,461
  75. The Castle (1999) $2,390,743 (79) $3,801,281
  76. The Man Who Sued God (2003) $2,739,856 (75) $3,781,002
  77. The Umbrella Woman (aka The Good Wife) (1987) $1,603,526 (90) $3,752,252
  78. The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey (Australia/New Zealand) (1989) $1,765,363 (86) $3,601,341
  79. Tomorrow, When the War Began (2011) $3,061,541 (71) $3,367,695
  80. Animal Kingdom (2010) $2,867,294 (74) $3,240,043
  81. Ned Kelly (Australia/UK) (2003) $2,314,438 (80) $3,193,925
  82. The Rover (2014) $2,983,889 (72) $3,073,405
  83. Tracks (2014) $2,917,127 (73) $3,004,641
  84. Jindabyne (2007) $2,213,496 (81) $2,744,735
  85. Lonely Hearts (1983) $888,607 (109) $2,736,910
  86. Lore (Australia/Germany) (2013) $2,546,651 (78) $2,673,984
  87. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Director’s Cut) (1998) $1,627,033 (87) $2,635,793
  88. Bliss (1986) $975,394 (106) $2,487,255
  89. Japanese Story (2003) $1,779,636 (85) $2,455,898
  90. Triangle (2009) $1,965,945 (83) $2,300,156
  91. Sweetie (1990) $1,188,929 (94) $2,258,965
  92. The Last Days of Chez Nous (1993) $1,237,099 (92) $2,214,407
  93. The Boys Are Back (Australia/UK) (2009) $1,802,849 (84) $2,109,334
  94. Malcolm (1986) $804,005 (111) $2,050,212
  95. Love and Other Catastrophes (1997) $1,219,071 (93) $1,987,085
  96. Turtle Beach (1992) $1,039,710 (105) $1,892,273
  97. Children of the Revolution (1997) $1,124,571 (95) $1,833,051
  98. The Sum of Us (1995) $1,062,474 (101) $1,784,956
  99. Kiss or Kill (1997) $1,068,653 (100) $1,741,905
  100. A Few Best Men (2012) $1,606,363 (89) $1,734,872
  101. Dead End Drive-In (1986) $678,240 (119) $1,729,512
  102. Head On (1999) $1,074,794 (98) $1,708,922
  103. Adoration (Australia/France) (aka Adore) (2013) $1,558,980 (91) $1,636,929
  104. Alexandra’s Project (2003) $1,124,125 (96) $1,551,292
  105. Chopper (2001) $1,053,752 (103) $1,538,477
  106. Me Myself I (2000) $950,214 (107) $1,453,827
  107. Dirty Deeds (2005) $1,096,100 (97) $1,435,890
  108. Kangaroo (1987) $600,119 (121) $1,404,279
  109. Proof (1992) $734,509 (113) $1,336,806
  110. Love Serenade (1997) $810,896 (110) $1,321,761
  111. Ten Canoes (2007) $1,046,608 (104) $1,297,794
  112. Children of the Silk Road (Australia/China/Germany)7 (2008) $1,071,963 (99) $1,275,636
  113. Rebel (1986) $477,782 (127) $1,218,344
  114. Oranges and Sunshine (Australia/UK) (2011) $1,055,986 (102) $1,161,585
  115. Clubland (2007) $915,244 (108) $1,134,903
  116. Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train (1989) $529,591 (123) $1,080,365
  117. Somersault (2005) $789,860 (112) $1,034,717

3. The ‘Real’ Box Office Figures for Australian Movies – Combined Domestic and Overseas

So, at last, the bottom line. This list, which blends the two lists above, shows an approximation (allowing for missing data problems) for how much money Australian films have made altogether at the box office worldwide. I have included all 326 films which made at least $1 million, in 2016 Australian dollar terms.

The top of the list is dominated by the big international hits, but after the first thirty films, films which made a lot of money in Australia gradually become more prominent. The highest-ranked film which made most of its box office domestically is Gallipoli at #33, and the highest-ranked film which made no money overseas is Alvin Purple at #44.

3. Box Office Figures for Australian Movies – Combined Domestic and International – Adjusted for Inflation

The first dollar figure is the original combined box office in Australian dollars; the second figure (in red) is the equivalent in 2016 Australian dollars.

Listed in this order Title,  (Year),  Combined Box Office (AUD*),  (Rank*),  Combined Box Office (Best) in 2016 AUD (* = not adjusted for inflation)

  1. Crocodile Dundee (1986) $484,647,823 (3) $1,235,851,950
  2. Happy Feet (2006) $513,543,916 (1) $652,200,773
  3. Crocodile Dundee II (1988) $275,330,504 (7) $602,973,803
  4. Babe (1995) $357,291,781 (5) $600,250,192
  5. Moulin Rouge (2001) $352,579,238 (6) $514,765,687
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) $494,063,712 (2) $499,004,350
  7. The Great Gatsby (2013) $378,605,329 (4) $397,535,595
  8. Australia (2008) $229,557,337 (9) $273,173,231
  9. Knowing (Australia/US) (2009) $226,713,776 (10) $265,255,118
  10. Hacksaw Ridge (2016) $235,488,496 (8) $235,488,496
  11. Antarctica (IMAX documentary) (1996/91) $122,771,947 (15) $224,945,622
  12. Gods of Egypt (2017) $196,058,152 (11) $196,058,152
  13. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) $66,696,268 (23) $185,415,624
  14. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010) $163,651,895 (13) $184,926,642
  15. Lion (2017) $182,925,098 (12) $182,925,098
  16. Babe: Pig in the City (1998) $112,684,368 (16) $182,548,677
  17. The Piano (1993) $97,263,949 (18) $174,102,468
  18. Happy Feet Two (2011) $137,885,063 (14) $151,673,569
  19. Green Card (Australia/France) (1991/90) $78,709,498 (19) $148,912,888
  20. Mad Max 2 (1981/2) $38,258,061 (32) $133,925,347
  21. The Man from Snowy River (1982) $37,436,927 (33) $126,911,184
  22. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (Australia/US) (2001) $77,869,186 (20) $113,689,011
  23. Shine (1996) $69,018,978 (22) $112,500,933
  24. Sanctum (2011) $99,510,553 (17) $109,461,609
  25. Muriel’s Wedding (1994/5) $60,342,335 (24) $102,478,713
  26. Strictly Ballroom (1992/3) $52,115,345 (27) $93,939,280
  27. The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) $58,833,156 (26) $83,543,081
  28. Young Einstein (1988/9) $39,702,280 (31) $83,000,158
  29. I, Frankenstein (2014) $75,516,066 (21) $77,781,548
  30. Dark City (1998) $44,336,293 (30) $71,824,795
  31. Daybreakers (2010) $60,288,363 (25) $68,125,850
  32. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) $36,273,274 (35) $63,478,229
  33. Gallipoli (1981) $16,733,543 (49) $63,252,791
  34. Lightning Jack (1994) $34,490,908 (36) $60,359,089
  35. Mad Max (1979/81) $14,164,888 (52) $57,720,560
  36. Killer Elite (2011) $51,473,282 (28) $56,620,610
  37. The Man from Snowy River II (1988) $24,653,069 (42) $53,990,222
  38. The Water Diviner (2014/5) $49,574,754 (29) $50,387,900
  39. Wolf Creek (2005) $36,459,906 (34) $47,762,477
  40. The Dish (2000/1) $31,776,188 (38) $47,653,198
  41. Lantana (2001) $31,245,388 (39) $45,618,267
  42. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982/3) $14,146,659 (53) $44,313,540
  43. Breaker Morant (1980/1) $10,957,001 (61) $43,122,063
  44. Alvin Purple (1973) $4,720,000 (102) $42,904,800
  45. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) $29,625,104 (40) $42,067,647
  46. Phar Lap (1983/4) $12,600,814 (57) $38,442,894
  47. Sirens (Australia/UK) (1994) $20,486,348 (47) $35,851,110
  48. Africa’s Elephant Kingdom (IMAX documentary) (1998) $21,981,182 (44) $35,609,514
  49. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) $5,120,000 (95) $35,020,800
  50. The Dressmaker (2015) $32,450,087 (37) $32,774,588
  51. They’re A Weird Mob (1966) $2,417,000 (148) $30,550,880
  52. Evil Angels (1988) $13,940,657 (54) $30,530,038
  53. The Pirate Movie (1982) $8,821,946 (67) $29,906,399
  54. Mao’s Last Dancer (2009/10) $25,133,018 (41) $29,017,923
  55. Black Robe (Australia/Canada) (1992/1) $14,663,640 (51) $26,940,376
  56. Dead Calm (1989) $12,906,126 (55) $26,328,497
  57. The Railway Man (Australia/UK) (2013/4) $24,321,517 (43) $25,196,871
  58. Red Dog (2011) $21,467,993 (45) $23,614,792
  59. The Sapphires (2012/3) $20,671,535 (46) $22,141,146
  60. The Delinquents (1989) $10,555,754 (64) $21,533,739
  61. The Castle (1997/9) $12,717,171 (56) $20,633,359
  62. Bright Star (Australia/UK) (2009) $17,632,187 (48) $20,629,659
  63. Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010/11) $16,571,541 (50) $18,633,995
  64. Careful, He Might Hear You (1983/4) $5,842,457 (86) $17,619,520
  65. The Wog Boy (2000) $11,449,799 (58) $17,518,192
  66. Caddie (1976) $2,847,000 (135) $17,167,410
  67. The Man Who Sued God (2001/3) $11,286,723 (59) $16,259,428
  68. Storm Boy (1976) $2,645,000 (141) $15,949,350
  69. Puberty Blues (1981/3) $4,189,012 (109) $15,834,465
  70. Charlotte Gray (Australia/UK) (2002/1) $10,285,281 (65) $14,848,971
  71. Alvin Rides Again (1974) $1,880,000 (174) $14,795,600
  72. Ned Kelly (Australia/UK) (2003) $10,680,422 (63) $14,738,983
  73. My Brilliant Career (1979) $3,052,000 (127) $13,917,120
  74. Looking for Alibrandi (2000) $8,280,335 (70) $12,668,913
  75. Stone (1974) $1,572,000 (196) $12,371,640
  76. Crackerjack (2002) $8,618,107 (68) $12,237,712
  77. The Babadook (2014) $10,947,495 (62) $11,275,920
  78. Oddball (2015) $11,085,092 (60) $11,195,943
  79. Barry Mckenzie Holds His Own (1974) $1,407,000 (208) $11,073,090
  80. Malcolm (1986) $4,287,144 (108) $10,932,216
  81. Kenny (2006/7) $8,501,753 (69) $10,775,519
  82. Petersen (1974) $1,363,000 (214) $10,726,810
  83. Chopper (2000/1) $6,965,871 (78) $10,584,019
  84. We of the Never Never (1982) $3,112,000 (126) $10,549,680
  85. Paws (1997/8) $6,364,647 (81) $10,315,279
  86. Reckless Kelly (1993/4) $5,769,743 (87) $10,314,832
  87. Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tale  (1987) $4,317,000 (107) $10,101,780
  88. Eliza Fraser (1976) $1,672,000 (186) $10,082,160
  89. The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) $1,000,000 (249) $9,910,000
  90. Flirting (1991/2) $5,374,622 (90) $9,814,912
  91. Paper Planes (2015) $9,654,965 (66) $9,751,515
  92. Map of the Human Heart (Australia/Canada/UK) (1993) $5,324,428 (93) $9,530,726
  93. Jindabyne (2006/7) $7,516,408 (75) $9,479,433
  94. Sunday Too Far Away (1975) $1,356,000 (216) $9,275,040
  95. Paradise Road (1997) $5,662,940 (88) $9,230,592
  96. Ned Kelly (1970) $808,000 (285) $9,009,200
  97. Animal Kingdom (2010) $7,867,312 (73) $8,890,063
  98. Bran Nue Dae (2010) $7,813,441 (74) $8,829,188
  99. Innocence (2000/1) $5,964,130 (85) $8,782,078
  100. Two Hands (1999) $5,478,485 (89) $8,710,791
  101. Japanese Story (2003) $6,299,636 (82) $8,693,498
  102. The Proposition (Australia/UK) (2005/6) $6,768,427 (80) $8,679,290
  103. Dirty Deeds (2002/5) $6,179,287 (83) $8,654,016
  104. Iron Sky (2012) $7,982,574 (72) $8,621,180
  105. The Craic (1999) $5,265,935 (94) $8,372,837
  106. Maya the Bee Movie (Australia/Germany) (2015) $8,183,509 (71) $8,265,345
  107. Oscar and Lucinda (1998/7) $4,939,357 (96) $8,033,462
  108. Newsfront (1978) $1,576,000 (195) $7,832,720
  109. Holy Smoke (1999) $4,828,520 (99) $7,677,346
  110. Napoleon (1997) $4,691,402 (103) $7,646,985
  111. The Sum of Us (1994/5) $4,389,930 (106) $7,608,004
  112. Hostage: The Christine Maresch Story (1983) $2,455,000 (145) $7,561,400
  113. The Power of One (1992) $4,140,956 (110) $7,536,540
  114. Last Cab to Darwin (2015) $7,406,951 (76) $7,481,021
  115. A Few Best Men (2012) $6,903,055 (79) $7,455,299
  116. Red Dog: True Blue (2016) $7,384,663 (77) $7,384,663
  117. The Quiet American (2003) $5,339,542 (92) $7,368,568
  118. The Man From Hong Kong (1975) $1,066,000 (239) $7,291,440
  119. The Last Wave (1977) $1,258,000 (223) $6,755,460
  120. Far East (1982) $1,972,000 (165) $6,685,080
  121. Kath & Kimderella (2012) $6,081,439 (84) $6,567,954
  122. Strange Bedfellows (2004) $4,816,495 (100) $6,502,268
  123. Ride A Wild Pony (1975) $949,000 (259) $6,491,160
  124. Until the End of the World (Australia/France/Germany) (1991) $3,417,264 (119) $6,287,765
  125. Romper Stomper (1992/3) $3,425,879 (118) $6,227,274
  126. Turkey Shoot (1981/3) $1,938,871 (170) $6,196,422
  127. Little Fish (2005/6) $4,541,230 (105) $5,920,557
  128. The Box (1975) $857,000 (271) $5,861,880
  129. Ten Canoes (2006/7) $4,559,554 (104) $5,759,236
  130. Bliss (1985/6) $2,120,257 (161) $5,669,975
  131. Me Myself I (2000) $3,648,544 (116) $5,582,272
  132. Kings of Mykonos: The Wog Boy 2 (2010) $4,896,315 (98) $5,532,836
  133. Tracks (2014) $5,360,944 (91) $5,521,773
  134. The Mango Tree (1977) $1,028,000 (245) $5,520,360
  135. Oranges and Sunshine (Australia/UK) (2011) $4,904,472 (97) $5,394,919
  136. Proof (1991/2) $2,898,467 (131) $5,318,488
  137. The Getting Of Wisdom (1977) $982,000 (254) $5,273,340
  138. Don’s Party (1976) $871,000 (268) $5,252,130
  139. Starstruck (1982) $1,541,000 (200) $5,223,990
  140. The Hard Word (2002/3) $3,662,447 (114) $5,172,475
  141. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith  (1978) $1,021,000 (246) $5,074,370
  142. Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh (1987/8) $2,287,956 (153) $5,055,804
  143. Fat Pizza (2003) $3,651,320 (115) $5,038,822
  144. Wolf Creek 2 (2014) $4,732,168 (101) $4,874,133
  145. Stork (1971) $463,000 (349) $4,866,130
  146. Cosi (1996) $2,941,960 (129) $4,795,394
  147. The Heartbreak Kid (1993) $2,658,819 (140) $4,759,286
  148. Cosi (1996) $2,896,980 (132) $4,722,077
  149. Love and Other Catastrophes (1997) $2,857,000 (134) $4,656,909
  150. The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey (Australia/New Zealand) (1988/9) $2,245,707 (159) $4,653,295
  151. Head On (1998/9) $2,863,407 (133) $4,606,475
  152. The Boys Are Back (Australia/UK) (2009) $3,919,913 (112) $4,586,299
  153. Look Both Ways (2005/6) $3,509,820 (117) $4,576,259
  154. Queen of the Damned (2002) $3,204,388 (122) $4,550,231
  155. Charlie & Boots (2009) $3,866,823 (113) $4,524,183
  156. High Rolling  (1977) $841,000 (275) $4,516,170
  157. The Big Steal (1990) $2,351,628 (150) $4,468,093
  158. Mental (2012) $4,080,835 (111) $4,407,302
  159. Fatty Finn (1980) $1,064,000 (240) $4,404,960
  160. Wiggles Movie (1997) $2,678,686 (138) $4,366,258
  161. The Wiggles (1997) $2,678,486 (139) $4,365,932
  162. Burke And Wills (1985) $1,567,000 (198) $4,356,260
  163. Dating The Enemy (1996) $2,620,325 (142) $4,271,130
  164. Bootmen (2000) $2,720,302 (137) $4,162,062
  165. The Year My Voice Broke (1987/8) $1,782,397 (180) $4,130,399
  166. Running On Empty (1982) $1,218,000 (230) $4,129,020
  167. The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992/3) $2,255,965 (157) $4,068,743
  168. Coolangatta Gold  (1984) $1,365,000 (212) $4,054,050
  169. Burke & Wills (1987) $1,719,714 (184) $4,024,131
  170. Travelling North (1987/8) $1,734,431 (183) $4,018,003
  171. The Umbrella Woman (aka The Good Wife) (1987) $1,703,715 (185) $3,986,694
  172. Kokoda (2006) $3,138,501 (124) $3,985,896
  173. Boytown (2006) $3,135,972 (125) $3,982,684
  174. The Odd Angry Shot (1979) $866,000 (270) $3,948,960
  175. Somersault (2004/5) $2,946,434 (128) $3,946,092
  176. The F.J. Holden (1977) $710,000 (302) $3,812,700
  177. The Lighthorsemen (1987) $1,617,288 (192) $3,784,454
  178. Samson and Delilah (2009) $3,188,931 (123) $3,731,049
  179. Tim (1979) $809,000 (283) $3,689,040
  180. Rebel (1985/6) $1,364,551 (213) $3,683,562
  181. Beneath Hill 60 (2010) $3,220,187 (121) $3,638,811
  182. Winter Of Our Dreams (1981) $959,000 (258) $3,625,020
  183. The Bank (2001) $2,451,648 (146) $3,579,406
  184. Blue Fin (1978) $703,000 (305) $3,493,910
  185. The Rover (2014) $3,385,582 (120) $3,487,149
  186. Blinky Bill (1992) $1,903,659 (173) $3,464,659
  187. Children of the Revolution (1997) $2,094,015 (162) $3,413,245
  188. An Angel At My Table (1990) $1,790,577 (178) $3,402,096
  189. Ginger Meggs (1982) $990,000 (251) $3,356,100
  190. The Club (1980) $804,000 (286) $3,328,560
  191. The Chain Reaction (1980) $796,000 (288) $3,295,440
  192. Kiss or Kill (1997) $1,970,524 (166) $3,211,955
  193. Bad Eggs (2003) $2,318,089 (151) $3,198,963
  194. Spotswood (1992) $1,745,359 (182) $3,176,554
  195. Ghost Ship (2002) $2,232,932 (160) $3,170,763
  196. Gettin’ Square (2003) $2,292,587 (152) $3,163,770
  197. The Irishman (1978) $622,000 (316) $3,091,340
  198. Three To Tango (1999) $1,940,552 (169) $3,085,478
  199. The Picture Show Man (1977) $566,014 (323) $3,039,495
  200. Joey (1997) $1,855,557 (177) $3,024,558
  201. The Cup (2011) $2,749,218 (136) $3,024,140
  202. Romulus, My Father (2007) $2,436,888 (147) $3,021,741
  203. Sweetie (1989/90) $1,526,609 (202) $2,947,832
  204. Oyster Farmer (2005) $2,249,528 (158) $2,946,882
  205. Blinky Bill the Movie (2015) $2,908,162 (130) $2,937,244
  206. Rikky and Pete (1988) $1,330,995 (218) $2,914,878
  207. Razorback (1984) $975,318 (256) $2,896,694
  208. Clubland (2007) $2,266,369 (155) $2,810,298
  209. The Magic Riddle (1991) $1,510,536 (204) $2,779,386
  210. The Silver Brumby (1993) $1,532,649 (201) $2,743,442
  211. Lonely Hearts (1983) $888,607 (266) $2,736,910
  212. The Nugget (2002) $1,920,993 (172) $2,727,810
  213. Alexandra’s Project (2003) $1,968,619 (167) $2,716,694
  214. Children of the Silk Road (Australia/China/Germany)7 (2008) $2,272,336 (154) $2,704,080
  215. The Black Balloon (2008) $2,265,689 (156) $2,696,170
  216. Love Serenade (1997) $1,647,006 (188) $2,684,620
  217. Lore (Australia/Germany) (2013) $2,546,651 (143) $2,673,984
  218. I Love You Too  (2010) $2,365,467 (149) $2,672,978
  219. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Director’s Cut) (1998) $1,643,621 (189) $2,662,666
  220. Turtle Beach (1992) $1,399,091 (209) $2,546,346
  221. The Love Epidemic (1975) $367,000 (384) $2,510,280
  222. Dusty (1983) $810,000 (281) $2,494,800
  223. Jasper Jones (2017) $2,489,883 (144) $2,489,883
  224. Mr. Accident (2000) $1,611,350 (193) $2,465,366
  225. Hating Allison Ashley (2005) $1,869,069 (176) $2,448,480
  226. Felicity (1979) $532,000 (330) $2,425,920
  227. Bra Boys (2007/8) $1,872,031 (175) $2,311,639
  228. In The Cut (2003) $1,666,830 (187) $2,300,225
  229. Triangle (2009) $1,965,945 (168) $2,300,156
  230. The Little Convict (1979) $495,000 (341) $2,257,200
  231. Melvin, Son Of Alvin (1984) $751,143 (294) $2,230,895
  232. ABC of Love and Sex Australia Style  (1978) $447,000 (356) $2,221,590
  233. Rogue (2007) $1,786,767 (179) $2,215,591
  234. Paperback Hero (1999) $1,369,280 (211) $2,177,155
  235. Street Hero (1984) $729,344 (298) $2,166,152
  236. Disturbing Behavior Us (1999) $1,346,874 (217) $2,141,530
  237. The Eye of the Storm (2011) $1,921,389 (171) $2,113,527
  238. The Daughter (2016) $2,079,486 (163) $2,079,486
  239. Angel Baby (1995/7) $1,239,438 (226) $2,073,821
  240. Blurred (2002) $1,453,078 (206) $2,063,371
  241. Candy (2006) $1,620,166 (190) $2,057,611
  242. Sally Marshall Is Not An Alien (1999) $1,291,802 (221) $2,053,965
  243. Dad And Dave On Our Selection (1995) $1,222,051 (228) $2,053,046
  244. Hotel Sorrento (1995) $1,215,478 (231) $2,042,003
  245. Crackers (1998) $1,255,623 (224) 2034109.3
  246. The Devil’s Playground (1976) $334,000 (392) $2,014,020
  247. Dance Academy: The Movie (2017) $2,001,047 (164) $2,001,047
  248. Razzle Dazzle – A Journey Into Dance (2007) $1,567,818 (197) $1,944,094
  249. Dead End Drive-In (1986) $746,240 (296) $1,902,912
  250. Hotel de Love (1997) $1,166,364 (232) $1,901,174
  251. Beautiful Kate  (2009) $1,618,490 (191) $1,893,633
  252. Garage Days (2002) $1,328,769 (220) $1,886,852
  253. Blackrock (1997) $1,136,983 (236) $1,853,282
  254. Goddess (2013) $1,759,081 (181) $1,847,035
  255. Three Dollars (2005) $1,371,447 (210) $1,796,596
  256. Mr. Nice Guy  (1989) $869,715 (269) $1,774,219
  257. Danny Deckchair (2003/4) $1,282,378 (222) $1,762,702
  258. The Hunter (2011/2) $1,584,490 (194) $1,728,556
  259. Better Than Sex (2000) $1,128,872 (237) $1,727,174
  260. The Wannabes (2003) $1,227,588 (227) $1,694,071
  261. Mary and Max  (2009) $1,444,617 (207) $1,690,202
  262. Mullet (2001) $1,157,161 (234) $1,689,455
  263. Wish You Were Here (2012) $1,518,439 (203) $1,639,914
  264. Adoration (Australia/France) (aka Adore) (2013) $1,558,980 (199) $1,636,929
  265. Red Planet Us (2000) $1,063,454 (241) $1,627,085
  266. Any Questions for Ben? (2012) $1,504,396 (205) $1,624,748
  267. The Magic Pudding (2000) $1,054,893 (243) $1,613,986
  268. White Fang (1991) $852,366 (273) $1,568,353
  269. Kangaroo (1986/7) $664,092 (309) $1,567,411
  270. Balibo  (2009) $1,330,863 (219) $1,557,110
  271. One Perfect Day (2004) $1,152,011 (235) $1,555,215
  272. End Play (1997) $941,000 (260) $1,533,830
  273. Monkey Grip (1982) $451,000 (354) $1,528,890
  274. Pacific Banana (1981) $404,000 (369) $1,527,120
  275. Harlequin (1980) $364,000 (386) $1,506,960
  276. The Money Movers (1979) $330,000 (393) $1,504,800
  277. Spider And Rose (1994) $856,095 (272) $1,498,166
  278. Metal Skin (1995) $883,521 (267) $1,484,315
  279. Occasional Coarse Language (1998) $909,475 (263) $1,473,350
  280. Housos Vs Authority (2012) $1,360,703 (215) $1,469,559
  281. Les Patterson Saves The World (1987) $626,000 (314) $1,464,840
  282. Bad Boy Bubby (1994) $808,789 (284) $1,415,381
  283. All Men Are Liars (1995) $836,606 (278) $1,405,498
  284. The Pact (2002) $982,317 (253) $1,394,890
  285. Darkness Falls Us (2003) $1,010,132 (247) $1,393,982
  286. Liquid Bridge  (2003) $1,000,112 (248) $1,380,155
  287. Idiot Box (1997) $837,639 (277) $1,365,352
  288. Disgrace  (2009) $1,166,294 (233) $1,364,564
  289. Road To Nhill (1997) $834,949 (279) $1,360,967
  290. Blood Oath (1990) $707,194 (304) $1,343,669
  291. Love’s Brother (2004) $977,106 (255) $1,319,093
  292. My Year Without Sex  (2009) $1,125,871 (238) $1,317,269
  293. The Turning (2013) $1,248,511 (225) $1,310,937
  294. Country Life (1994/5) $751,148 (293) $1,287,195
  295. Midnite Spares (1983) $417,000 (364) $1,284,360
  296. The Cup (2000) $839,344 (276) $1,284,196
  297. Return to Nim’s Island (2013) $1,220,248 (229) $1,281,260
  298. Take Away (2003) $926,796 (261) $1,278,978
  299. The Clinic (1983) $414,000 (365) $1,275,120
  300. Australia: Land Beyond Time  (2003) $911,679 (262) $1,258,117
  301. Swimming Upstream (2003) $896,735 (265) $1,237,494
  302. My First Wife (1984) $413,199 (366) $1,227,201
  303. Thunderstruck (2004) $908,294 (264) $1,226,197
  304. Man Of Flowers (1983) $396,041 (373) $1,219,806
  305. Inn Of The Damned (1975) $178,000 (410) $1,217,520
  306. The Real Macaw (1998) $741,576 (297) $1,201,353
  307. He Died with a Felafel in his Hand  (2001) $820,999 (280) $1,198,659
  308. Mrs. Carey’s Concert (2011) $1,062,982 (242) $1,169,281
  309. Bushfire Moon  (1987) $493,871 (342) $1,155,658
  310. Police Rescue (1994) $658,814 (310) $1,152,925
  311. Unfinished Sky (2008) $966,160 (257) $1,149,730
  312. The Boys (1998) $709,038 (303) $1,148,642
  313. Snowtown (2011) $1,042,438 (244) $1,146,682
  314. Sydney: Story of a City (1999) $711,609 (301) $1,131,458
  315. High Tide (1987) $482,459 (346) $1,128,954
  316. The Tracker (2002) $791,143 (289) $1,123,423
  317. Sweet Talker (1991) $607,633 (318) $1,118,045
  318. Molokai: The Story Of Father Damien (2002) $763,524 (292) $1,084,204
  319. Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train (1989) $529,591 (331) $1,080,365
  320. Siam Sunset (1999) $657,185 (311) $1,044,924
  321. Russian Doll (2001) $714,514 (299) $1,043,191
  322. Drift (2013) $983,974 (252) $1,033,173
  323. A Woman’s Tale (1991) $561,115 (325) $1,032,450
  324. Noise (2007) $809,634 (282) $1,003,946
  325. Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger (2008) $843,029 (274) $1,003,205
  326. Holding the Man (2015) $991,969 (250) $1,001,888

Sources and Notes

Notes

Like all statistical analysis, the results depend upon the reliability of the data. All published box office figures should be taken with a grain of salt, as they are often incomplete, approximations, guesses or at worst manipulations, and different sources can give conflicting figures. Some figures are obviously better than others, but it is hard to know which ones. We have to make do with what we have, and I have cross-checked the data from different sources as far as possible.

I have chosen not to include data for pre-1966 films, even though some data is available for some films. The problem is not just that Australia used a different currency before 1966, but more that the available data seems even less reliable than later data, and data for some important films such as A Town Like Alice is not available, even though the film was a hit in both Australia and the UK. So, even though the domestic box office for 1957’s The Shiralee with Peter Finch was reported to be 515,000 pounds which I calculate to be $15,662,080 in 2016 dollars and would put it into the all-time top 40, other commentators have warned me against placing too much reliance on pre-1966 figures. So The Shiralee, along with 1946’s The Overlanders, 1940’s Forty Thousand Horsemen and 1932’s On Our Selection (for which I have found figures which would put them in the Top 100), as well as A Town Like Alice which was probably even more popular, will all miss out for the time being.

I have also included all films that meet Screen Australia’s definition of an Australian film, and so the lists above include films that do not meet the Ozflicks definition of an Australian film.

If you can provide me with other data or comments on the data I have used, I would be most grateful. If you would like a copy of my spreadsheet, just send me a request.

Sources

Screen Australia’s information on Australian film box office performance was the inspiration and has been the chief source of box office information, particularly these pages:

Australian Films At the Australian Box Office, a 2010 report by Film Victoria, was the second best source for Australian box office takings, and the best source for films outside the top 100 covered by Screen Australia. The report was originally at https://www.film.vic.gov.au/resources/documents/AA4_Aust_Box_office_report.pdf, and is now archived at  https://web.archive.org/web/20110312073236/http://film.vic.gov.au/resources/documents/AA4_Aust_Box_office_report.pdf

Box Office Mojo was an invaluable source for overseas earnings of Australian films, particularly for more recent films and more successful films where it gave figures for many more countries than Screen Australia. It was also useful for Australian box office figures for some films outside the Top 100 which were released from 2010-2017, after the report above was published. The BoxOfficeMojo ‘Australia Yearly Box Office’ page <http://www.boxofficemojo.com/intl/australia/yearly/> provided Australian earnings for many of these which I converted from $US to Australian dollars, then adjusted for inflation.

For a very few cases, where the above sources did not give Australian or overseas box office figures, the following sources provided some figures for individual films:

  • The Numbers This site often echoes Box Office Mojo but sometimes includes films that site omits, especially where the film was not released in the US.
  • Oz Movies This site sometimes has extra box office information on films before 1990.

Other sources were consulted but not used as they appear to echo the main sources

Inflation was calculated using the Reserve Bank calculator at http://www.rba.gov.au/calculator/

Historical exchange rates came from the following sources, in the order of usefulness:

As exchange rates vary considerably throughout each year, the rate for 30 June each year was used.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. William says:

    WOW! Good work dude, that’s an amazing post! I hope it also kick starts you posting again, I miss your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ozflicks says:

      Thanks, William. I’ve been busy, but hope to post a bit more from now on. Cheers

      Like

  2. Martin Leweling, Germany says:

    I would not call this the “real” box office figures, because they seem way off the mark omitting important markets such as the Eurozone, China and other BRICS. For example, Sanctum took 108 Million USD according to Box Office Mojo, Killer Elite 56 Million, Mad Max: Fury Road 378 Million (and USD is almost always > AUD). I could go on and on and on. The “worldwide” list is almost useless; the world does not end with US, UK, AUS, and D.

    As for the Australian list: I have compiled a similar list from data collected over several years, not yet adjusted for inflation though. Including everything down to “Under a Red Moon” which made 87 dollars in 2008, the list currently contains 908 entries. I have seen about half of them.

    Anyway, I think box office sometimes is not even the real measure of a film’s popularity. Some of them really come to life on DVD/BluRay or streaming services. For example, according to IMDB, “Triangle” is one of the most popular Australian movies of all time with more than 75000 votes, leaving classics like “The Piano” or “Shine” way behind. But it made only 11388 AUD at the Australian box office.

    Like

    1. ozflicks says:

      Ouch! Thanks Martin for a lot of good comments, and nice to see someone interested in this. Where to start. My initial aim was simply to adjust Screen Australia’s lists for inflation, especially the first list, to show that a lot of the older films did well at the local box office too. If you have more figures and don’t mind sharing them, you can send them to me at ozflicks3@gmail.com.
      Regarding the international lists, the problem is incomplete data, and it was probably unwise to attempt such a list. I used the Screen Australia figures even though they only cover 3 countries. I did have a note in my draft about the problem with only using this data, but I notice now I appear to have somehow left it off the final post, so sorry about that.
      Box Office Mojo is very hit and miss for data – it includes worldwide data on some films but not others, and the worldwide data rarely includes all countries, only those for which data was available. For example, Mad Max, The Piano, Shine and many others have no foreign earnings figures on Box Office Mojo, and others have very selected data. (Looks Both Ways has data from US, UK, Australia, Italy, Norway and Brazil only). If we include Box Office Mojo data for some recent films which have better data then it will skew the list in their favour, but I probably should do this when I have time.
      I accept your point about DVD/streaming (again I cut some comments on this out of my final post to make it tighter), but my aim was more to adjust Screen Australia’s box office lists for inflation. As for popularity and IMDb votes – these are good points too.
      So thanks for your interest and I’ll consider what to do with the international lists, whether to just include the US list instead or somehow to incorporate whatever figures Box Office Mojo have.

      Like

    2. ozflicks says:

      Hi Martin, I have updated the overseas figures (a couple of weeks back) making more use of Box Office Mojo, which brought a lot of the films you mentioned into play. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Like

  3. Martin Leweling, Germany says:

    I just put together the current IMDB top 50 of Australian movies by voter count (which can mean people loved or hated a movie, but cared enough to vote). There are quite a few suprises: Predestination, The Babadook, Triangle, The Rover, The Loved Ones, Sleeping Beauty (I guess nudity is always a drawcard), Adore aka Adoration are all way more well-known than their box office suggests. Australian box office in brackets. Extending the list further would reveal even more interesting results: Some straight-to-dvd films are more popular than most cinema releases. E.g. BACKTRACK (2015) has 8756 votes, more than many AFI Best Film winning entries from A CRY IN THE DARK (7589) to ANNIE’S COMING OUT (124).

    1. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD 656472 (21685344)
    2. THE GREAT GATSBY 393094 (27383762)
    3. HACKSAW RIDGE 256069 (8857936)
    4. MOULIN ROUGE 236276 (27734406)
    5. KNOWING 196615 (7588162)
    6. PREDESTINATION 194229 (779474)
    7. MAD MAX 162859 (5355490)
    8. HAPPY FEET 143599 (31786164)
    9. THE BABADOOK 139652 (268044)
    10. MARY AND MAX 132146 (1444617)
    11. LION 129450 (29523559)
    12. KILLER ELITE 111093 (631750)
    13. DAYBREAKERS 110235 (2448050)
    14. MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME 108845 (4272802)
    15. AUSTRALIA 107312 (37555757)
    16. BABE 100202 (36776544)
    17. IRON SKY 82897 (289931)
    18. CROCODILE DUNDEE 79149 (47707045)
    19. GODS OF EGYPT 77625 (2528009)
    20. TRIANGLE 75463 (11388)
    21. I, FRANKENSTEIN 70509 (391609)
    22. LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS 69441 (4783037)
    23. THE PIANO 67712 (11240484)
    24. THE WATER DIVINER 60587 (15869909)
    25. WOLF CREEK 59118 (6080571)
    26. SANCTUM 48961 (3871962)
    27. ANIMAL KINGDOM 48292 (5000018)
    28. CROCODILE DUNDEE II 46560 (24916805)
    29. QUEEN OF THE DAMNED 46240 (3204388)
    30. SHINE 45387 (10182519)
    31. THE PROPOSITION 44850 (2271100)
    32. PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT 39343 (16459245)
    33. CANDY 38030 (1620166)
    34. THE ROVER 36723 (540782)
    35. THE DRESSMAKER 36010 (20278133)
    36. HAPPY FEET 2 34851 (10694917)
    37. ROMPER STOMPER 33268 (3165034)
    38. CHOPPER 32773 (5912119)
    39. THE HUNTER 32646 (1084947)
    40. GALLIPOLI 31560 (11740000)
    41. DEAD CALM 31218 (2444407)
    42. THE RAILWAY MAN 30916 (7590237)
    43. THE LOVED ONES 30413 (300124)
    44. MURIEL’S WEDDING 29618 (15765571)
    45. TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN 27908 (13508599)
    46. SLEEPING BEAUTY 27333 (302226)
    47. PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK 27116 (5136588)
    48. BABE: PIG IN THE CITY 26841 (7771751)
    49. ADORE 26047 (203089)
    50. RABBIT-PROOF FENCE 24456 (7562439)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Martin Leweling, Germany says:

    Sorry, missed THE ROAD WARRIOR at no. 9 in this list with 143128 votes (10847491 AUD).

    Like

  5. ozflicks says:

    Thanks Martin, This is another very interesting list. I agree with you about the surprises, but it’s good to see some old favourites a little further down – Gallipoli, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Muriel’s wedding etc

    It has a lot of similarities with the world box office list, but some differences too – recent movies tend to dominate the top positions even more, as do some sci-fi, horror/gothic/noir/thriller and action flicks. Baz Luhrmann, George Miller and Paul Hogan still do very well here.
    It does add further nuance to each of these films’ influence.

    Like

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