Nearly one third of all the money that Australians spent to go to the cinema in 2011 went to the 10 most popular films, and 6 of those 10 films were brands already familiar to the public.
In all there were 341 films released in Australian cinemas in 2011 and together they earned $1,093,733,000 throughout the 12 months.
This $1 billion result is 3.08 per cent lower than 2010 but the annual figure has risen for six previous consecutive years and this is the second highest gross of all time.
The top 10 films together earned $301 million and the bottom 10 were all Indian films, each of which grossed less than $120.
The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA), a non-profit organisation that represents the six Hollywood studios and collects data on Australia's film-going behaviour, released the box office figures today.
The most popular film of 2011, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, recorded ticket sales of $52.6 million, $15 million more than Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which grossed $$37.5 million.
The other films on the top 10 list, in order of popularity, were The Hangover Part II ($32.7m), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I ($28.1m), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($27.3m), Bridesmaids ($27.2m), The King's Speech ($26.8m), Fast and Furious 5 ($25.3m), Tangled ($22.2m) and the home-grown Red Dog ($21.3m).
It is rare for an Australian film, without a very big budget provided by Hollywood, to get a place in the top 10 list. The films snapping at Red Dog's heels for a place in the top 10 were Cars 2, The Smurfs, Kung Fu Panda 2.
Thirty-six Australian films were released into cinemas in 2010, according to the MPDAA, seven more than in 2010. While not generally thought of as an Australian film, one of the producers of The King's Speech was Sydneysider Emile Sherman.
The films that the MPDAA chose to highlight as examples of much anticipated fare in 2012 are: The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Men in Black III, Ice Age – Continental Drift, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Bourne Legacy, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
In today's statement the MPDAA also reminded the media that the industry had raised $515,165 for victims of the January 2011 floods and that it was working towards making cinemas accessible to the disabled.