Star Wars helps NZ box office to record year

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the NZ box office success of the year in 2015, despite only being released in December.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the NZ box office success of the year in 2015, despite only being released in December.

New Zealand's box office raked in more than $193 million in 2015 - a record earning for the movie industry - with five movies breaking the $6 million mark.

The overall box office figure was up 5.5 per cent from 2014's previous record of $183 million.

Of the five films that broke the $6 million revenue mark Star Wars: The Force Awakens topped the list.

It took a massive $9,154,322, despite only being released in the third week of December.

The seventh in the sci-fi franchise was followed by Fast & Furious 7, with just over $8 million, and Jurassic World at just under $8 million. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($6.8 million) and Minions ($6 million), complete the top five grossing films of the year.

The latest James Bond movie, Spectre, the final Hunger Games installment Mockingjay Part 2, and Inside Out all made it into the top 10.

Spectre, with Daniel Craig as James Bond, was one of the top performing films in NZ this year
Spectre, with Daniel Craig as James Bond, was one of the top performing films in NZ this year

"2015 was the year of the blockbuster with eagerly anticipated titles such as Star Wars,

Fast & Furious, Jurassic World, Avengers, Minions, Spectre and Hunger Games all more than living up to audience and industry expectations," Andrew Cornwell, MPDA Chairman, said.

"We are very pleased to see an increase of $10 million in total revenues from 2015 above 2014, which was in itself a record breaking year."

However, the threat of piracy to the local movie industry was disturbingly close, he said.

"The 2015 action against the enormous pirate site YTS operated from Mt Wellington highlights how close to home the threat to our industry is," he said.

Last year, PwC released a report showing New Zealand's creative industries combined contributed $3.8 billion to the nation's economy, and supported the employment of more than 40,000 people.

With the Copyright Law scheduled for review in 2016 Mr Cornwell said it was "crucial that the Government recognises strong copyright laws are needed to ensure the continued vibrancy and growth of the creative sector which contributes so much to New Zealand's economy, in both providing jobs and stimulating culture".
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TOP 10 FILMS OF 2015 (plus box office takings):
1 - Star Wars: The Force Awakens - $9,154,322
2 - Fast & Furious 7 - $8,257,329
3 - Jurassic World - $7,780,312
4 - Avengers: Age of Ultron - $6,887,949
5 - Minions - $6,092,849
6 - Spectre - $5,869,176
7 - Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - $5,006,690
8 - Inside Out - $4,935,349
9 - Pitch Perfect 2 - $4,807,919
10 - The Martian - $3,939,138

- NZ Herald

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