Australia Reports Second Highest Expenditure Ever On Scripted Drama – Deadline

Production expenditure on scripted screen production in Australia in 2022/23 was the second highest on record at $1.49BN (A$2.34BN) across 213 titles, according to Screen Australia’s annual drama report, but spend on Australian theatrical features declined by 54% from last year. 

Spend on scripted screen production was down 4% on last year’s record expenditure but was still significantly above the five-year average, the report found. Australian titles made up $718M (A$1.13BN) of that expenditure with decreases in spending by Australian subscription TV and SVOD services. 

However Free-to-Air (FTA) TV and Broadcaster Video-On-Demand (BVOD) providers helped offset those declines with spend on titles such as Total Control Series 3RFDS Series 2 and While The Men Are Away.

Meanwhile, Australian theatrical features saw total expenditure of $231M (A$363M) in 2022/23, down 54% compared to the previous year and 17% below the five-year average. Australian features produced during this period include Warwick Thornton’s The New Boy, Ivan Sen’s Limbo and Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel.

Screen Australia said the decline “can be attributed to having fewer big-budget theatrical features, with only one big-budget title in 2022/23”. In contrast, the previous year’s record high spending was driven by big-budget features such as Furiosa, Foe and Better Man.

The report also found that Australia attracted record expenditure on inbound production in 2022/23, which reached $776M (A$1.22BN), up from $575M (A$904M) the previous year, due to titles such as The Fall Guy and The Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes shooting in Australia. 

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “Big-budget foreign productions like The Fall Guy and The Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes have incredible flow-on benefits for local businesses, communities and the broader economy, and allow local cast and crew to acquire experience and new skills. Further, the international demand for our PDV expertise reflects the confidence of global companies in our talent and technology.”

New South Wales set a new record for the third year running, with over $826M (A$1.3BN) in expenditure in 2022/23, accounting for 56% of the national total. Queensland also set a new record, with total expenditure of $369M (A$581M), 23% above last year. 

Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all saw declines with spend falling 45%, 52% and 9% respectively. Combined spend in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Tasmania declined to $2.5M (A$4M) in 2022/23.

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