The problem is Australian audiences

The Australian film industry is successful and, like discussed throughout the past few weeks, we have been able to discover just how influential the government is in the film industry by providing funding to producers to encourage higher quality productions. This is despite the fact that it can be argued that the producers forgot to save some money to reach the Australian audiences and market the great Australian films appropriately.

Audiences haven’t known about movies produced in Australian because not enough money was invested into the marketing of the movie. With poor marketing and great productions, films that could have been box office hits weren’t, just like Babadook (2014). “Distributors have difficulty making money on most Australian films… [because] marketing of Australian films is often mis-targeted, underfunded or left too late” (Kaufman T, 2009).

Australians have a “practice of going to the movies in Australia [which] has been regionally widespread, economically significant, relatively socially inclusive and certainly more consistent than the practice of making movies” (Bowels K, 2007). People go to the movies to relax and not worry about anything for a few hours, seeping into a fantasy world looking for an escape. They don’t go out of their way to search for movies that aren’t advertised on the home screen of their local cinema website, hence it is the Australian film industry’s job to ensure that Australian know about local productions. Hollywood is ‘in your face’ with their up and coming productions and “Australian cinema-goers have also seemed to accept the enthusiasms of other international mainstream cinema audiences, in terms of popular genres, stars and fashions” (K Bowels et al. 2007).

 

Image result for choovie images

 

There is a new app on the market, Choovie, created by a Melbourne Economist and his wife that allows you to see what movies are showing and where giving you exclusive deals to watch films at off-peak periods. Ticket pricing fluctuates with session demands for example; seeing a film on a Monday during the day will be cheaper than seeing it on a Friday night. They have partnered with some specific movie cinemas across Australia to provide discount options for audience members. There aren’t many now, but I have no doubt that the numbers will grow as more people hear about Choovie. Who doesn’t want a discount on $25 movie tickets – the price is the reason I stopped going to the cinemas. The app was launched on Today Extra on the 20th of December 2017. It was discussed that Choovie allows audiences to now have the capability of viewing movies in cinemas and knowing when, where and which particular movies are screened, which will subsequently help the Australian Film Industry. Creators hope to use Choovie to boost the Australian screening industry through awareness of Australian films in the mix with Hollywood films which in turn will boost box office sales and the economy.

The problem is Australian audiences don’t go to see Australian movies, but there is a reason why they don’t – they don’t know about the Australian movies because they are not marketed appropriately.

While reflecting upon this topic and what I have learnt already, I thought that if the government is going to continue to support the Australian film industry, should they enforce a division of funds between marketing and producing to make the most out of the Australian film industry. What do you think?

References: 

Bowles, K 2007, Three miles of rough dirt road: towards an audience centred approach to cinema studies in Australia, Studies in Australasian Cinema. 1:3, pp. 245 – 260.

Bowles, K Maltby, R Verhoeven, D Walsh, M 2007, More than Bollyhoo? The importance of understanding film consumption in Australia, Metro 152, pp. 96 – 101.

Choovie 2018, Choovie Home Page, Last visited 20 December 2017, <https://www.choovie.com.au/>

Kaufman, T 2009, Finding Australian audiences for Australian films, Metro 163, pp. 6 – 8.

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One thought on “The problem is Australian audiences

  1. A couple of ideas re this topic. As you’ve stated in your post YES Australian film companies are working with abysmal budgets and are struggling on the whole to get the film made and pay those involved. It only makes sense then that marketing budgets are grossly inferior to their US compatriots. In my experience working in the music industry local product was made purely as a tax write off for international product, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was mirrored in the Australian wings of international film companies. Another thought I had when listening to countries like China’s policies re giving local product priority of international product and controlling the release of international product. Admittedly they are extreme in their approach the idea behind it has some merit. Surely there is some kind of regulatory steps that can be taken that will control of American product overwhelming the local product.

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