Australian Box Office Bigger Than Expected

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A report by the Australian Entertainment Industry Association puts the size of the live entertainment sector at double the worth the Australian Bureau of Statistics said it was worth in 2002-03. According to the report, Australians spend $689.6 million on rock concerts, musicals, opera, ballet, theatre and other live entertainment last year.

The report is the first time actual sales have been quantified nationally across commercial rock and musical promoters, the subsidized arts companies and performing arts venues. The last report, compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showed the total sales at only $331.6 million, a figure that many insisted was far lower than actual totals.

These figures have been notoriously difficult to collate in Australia because of confidentiality fears held by companies competing for the entertainment dollar. AEIA chief executive Brendan Schwab said the figures indicated the ABS "may have seriously underestimated the scope of the Australian live entertainment industry."

"We've always felt the industry was culturally important but this is telling us it's economically significant as well," Schwab told The Australian.

The survey shows that the $689.6 million in gross revenue came from the sale of over 12.5 million tickets sold to mostly rock and pop music concerts, musicals, theater and specials events.

The high arts earned a substantially lower amount, will opera accounting for only 9.1 percent of gross revenue, classical music 6.1 percent, and ballet and dance only bringing in 4.4 percent of the total. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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