Australian Cinema Nears 30-Year Low

Josh Lawson's The Little Death tanks at the box office.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Australian cinema is facing a historically bad year after The Little Death joined a growing list of homemade films to tank at the box office.

Josh Lawson’s directorial debut amassed just $77,700 in its opening three days, a less than lukewarm response to the TV star’s dark take on role playing in the bedroom.

Aussie films are currently on track to record just a 2.3 percent share of the country’s box office totals, the second lowest figure since Screen Australia begun tallying the numbers back in 1977, according to

The Railway Man (Nicole Kidman) , Wolf Creek 2 and Tracks are the only home-grown films to hit the $2 million mark in 2014, let down by poor efforts from Felony, The Rover and sci-fi thriller Predestination, starring Ethan Hawke.

The Mule, a comedy starring Hugo Weaving, will also now bypass cinema release and is instead heading for digital release in November.

Lawson’s successful transition from 2000s television star into movie funny man has seen the 33-year-old land recent roles The Campaign (Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but admits local interest in Australian film is suffering.

“My greatest concern and my biggest challenge is to get Australians to watch the film,’’ Lawson said while promoting The Little Death in Sydney.

“And that seems to be mission impossible.

“It’s tough to get Australians to trust Australian films. I think they have been burned a lot of times.”   

Aussie film recorded a low 1.3 percent box office take home in 2004 with just Strange Bedfellows and Somersault hitting the $2 million mark. 

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