Oh that’s right, Australian cinema releases are crap in comparison to American ones, that’s why! I think that’s all that really needs to be said really...but lets look into some potential reasons why.
The Cabin in the Woods showed on seven screens – one in each of the major capitals and a showing at the Gold Coast Film Festival yet Andre Rieu’s concert will be showing in almost all Event Cinema screens over two days. WHY?! After asking around my friends and family about what they’d rather see most said The Cabin in the Woods or neither (clearly not Whedon/horror or orchestra fans).
Roadshow wasn’t even going to release The Cabin in the Woods in Australian cinemas and just make it a straight-to-DVD release. Fans petitioned , (threatened to boycott the DVD release and swamped Roadshows Facebook page/Twitter - Cam Williams' #cabinsoonerAU) and Roadshow eventually gave in and released it very limitedly. Despite only playing on seven screens in Australia it still managed to take $85,152 in its opening weekend, which is a great effort for a film that had barely any marketing.
Similarly, Evil Dead is showing on 5 screens and will have a screening at the Gold Coast Film Festival, yet is estimated to pull in roughly $40mil in the US and Mama showed on a small amount of screens yet pulled in roughly $72mil in the U.S.
Is it because Australian distributors are too afraid to screen horror in our cinemas and they’d rather comedy, rom-coms and family films? Whatever the reason I challenge Australian distributors to pick up their game, horror is proving to be a growing and popular genre in the American market, if you give it a chance here who knows how popular it will be.
Similarly, Australian cinemagoers need to step up to the game – I know so many people who just sit at home on the weekends downloading movies and TV shows to watch in the comfort of their own home, when they could be seeing movies and supporting the industry.
The screening of horror (and many other) films in Australia is slowly dying off because of this kind of behaviour. So to all film lovers who get cranky that films they want to see aren’t being shown out here, get out there and see films at the cinemas and it will boost box office numbers making Australian distributors push through more films into more cinemas.
Casey Radford - follow Casey on Twitter at @thetinyredhead