Official box office takings have revealed that Hunt for the Wilderpeople helped make 2016 a record breaking year.

The Motion Picture Distributors Association of New Zealand yesterday revealed that in 2016, the local box office made $206,605,000.

This was a 6.8 per cent increase on 2015, which previously held the record with $193 million.

"While 2016 was dominated by the phenomenal success of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, we were delighted to see consumers enjoyed a wide spread of quality content across many genres," the MPDA chairman Peter Garner said.

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The biggest film at the box office was Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which stormed to the top with $12.18m, making it the top local movie of all time.

The Taika Waititi-directed picture starred Sam Neill and Julian Dennison and has proved a success overseas, raking in $33m at the global box office on a budget of just $3.6m.

The story of Ricky Baker was not the only success this year. After a 13 year wait, Dory and friends swam their way into the number two spot: Pixar's Finding Dory managed to find $7m at the box office, making it the biggest animated film of the year.

The seventh Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, topped the box office in 2015, earning over $9m in December alone. However, it was also the third highest grossing movie in New Zealand last year, earning a further $5m in 2016, which makes it the second biggest movie ever released in New Zealand.

Spinoff Rogue One also proved a success, earning $4.6m and becoming the ninth highest grossing movie of the year after only two weeks at the box office.

Four comic book movies made the list, with the critically derided Suicide Squad beating Deadpool, Captain America and Batman v Superman.

Disney's Pacific princess Moana sailed into 17th place in its first week with $2.8m, besting the likes of X:Men Apocalypse, which earned $2.76m across its entire box office run.

Top 10 movies

1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople $12,181,582

2. Finding Dory $7,079,648

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens $5,476,587

4. Suicide Squad $5,331,314

5. Deadpool $5,187,330

6. The Jungle Book $5,038,731

7. Captain America: Civil War $4,873,481

8. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice $4,828,479

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $4,652,863

10. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them $4,547,76