2013 Market Recap - AUSTRALIA - Comedies Come Up Big Down Under

on December 27, 2013


By Daniel Loria

Iron Man 3 dominated the market in Australia. The superhero film faced little competition as no other release in 2013 was able to get anywhere near its $40 million gross. The film received a boost from The Averngers' $55 million run from the previous year, as Robert Downey Jr.'s previous solo outings as Iron Man had grossed $18.7 million and $24 million, respectively. Thor: The Dark World followed with a healthy $21 million haul.

Director Baz Luhrmann enjoyed the biggest hit of his career in Australia with The Great Gatsby. The literary adaptation brought in $28 million, surpassing the $24.3 million run of Australia in his home country. Fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman also saw big numbers for his own superhero franchise. The Wolverine became the second-highest grossing film in the X-Men franchise with a $14.6 million take, just under the $15.2 million earned by X-Men: First Class.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire scorched through the Australian box office late in the year, entering the final weekend of 2013 with a $32.1 million total. Australia was the second largest market for the original Hunger Games film, responsible for $31.7 million of the first film's $278.5 million overseas gross. Australia is currently the third biggest earner for Catching Fire, behind the United Kingdom ($49.2M) and Germany ($37.1M).

Australia is one of the world's friendliest markets for Hollywood comedies. The Hangover Part III grossed $20.5 million in Australia to become one of the film's top overseas markets. The figure didn't live up to expectations, however, with the franchise's previous installments grossing $34.5 million in 2011.

Melissa McCarthy had a breakthrough hit with her acclaimed supporting role in Bridesmaids, a film that collected $28.6 million in Australia. McCarthy's subsequent outing, Identity Thief, failed to replicate that success with a $7.3 million take. The Heat, McCarthy's second release of 2013, paired her with Sandra Bullock - a comedy duo that Australian audiences responded to with a strong  $14.2 million. McCarthy seems to excel in Australia in female-oriented comedies, and will look to continue her streak in the market with similar releases after Bridesmaids and The Heat have combined for $519.8 million tally worldwide.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news and updates on the global box office.

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