Feature Blogs

Australian Golf & Australian Cinemas

Created on Tuesday, 21 November 2006 21:00
Written by Matthew Toomey


Greetings for another week. A few things to get through.


Exactly one year ago, I departed from my regular Film Pie column to write about by experience at the Australian Open Golf Championship.


I got a few responses to that column which made me think it was more interesting that my usual film dribble. Seriously, I thought it an opportune time to catch up one year on (and especially since this year’s Open was held last weekend).


To recap, I had the chance last year to play a practice round before the qualifying with 17-year-old Englishman Oliver Fisher and 16-year-old Irishman Rory McIlroy.


Since then, Oliver Fisher represented his country in the Eisenhower Cup (the most prestigious team event for amateurs). Fisher finished 5th in the individual rankings. Last week, Fisher turned professional and earned his European Tour Card. This makes him eligible to play in all the big events in Europe in 2007. He is the third youngest player in history (at 18 years and 64 days) to earn his card through the Qualifying School. I hope he has a great season (even more so since he shares the same birthday as me). He has big future.


Rory McIlroy also played in the Eisenhower Cup by representing Ireland. McIlroy finished 8th in the individual rankings. Back in August, McIlroy won the European Amateur. This earns him a spot into the 2007 British Open. Last week, McIlroy returned to Australia to compete in the Australian Open for the 2nd consecutive year. With scores of 74-74-76-77, he finished tied for 59th. I’m not certain but I think he will also be playing in the Australian Masters later this week.


Matthew Toomey on the other hand, is still off a handicap of 1 and struggles to hit fairways and greens. He is yet to receive his invite to Australian Masters.


Whilst I’m name-dropping, I have to also make reference to a friend of mine who recently qualified for the U.S. PGA Tour (as big as it gets). Andrew Buckle started out at Virginia (my home club) at a very early age and won the club championships at the age of 15. He has battled hard since turning professional in 2002 but it’s finally come together for him. He’s currently ranked 107th in the world and next year, will be playing for in excess of $5m every week on the PGA Tour. I hope he has a great season!


Back to film news and I just realised the other day how many movies have been released this year. With the number of cinemas increasing in Brisbane, the list of releases keeps getting longer and longer. In 1996, I reviewed 167 films. In 2006, I have reviewed 218 films and it’s only mid November. The industry is very competitive and it’s been hard keeping up with so many movies! It’ll be a record year for me attendance wise and I’ll report in on my final 2006 total early in January.


This leads into the point of my Film Pie spool this week. A friend was researching an assignment and came across the Australian Film Commission website. It listed some interesting statistics which came from a variety of sources. I thought I’d share them with you in the way of a trivia quiz. The answers can be found at the bottom of the email. Enjoy!



The number of cinemas in Australia increased from 2004 to 2005. True or false?



The number of tickets sold in Australia increased from 2004 to 2005. True or false?



The average ticket price in Australia increased from 2004 to 2005. True or false?



Australian films performed better at the box-office in 2005 compared to 2004. True or false?



In 2003/2004, Australians spent more video store rentals than they did on cinema admissions. True or false?


(scroll down for answers)
































Q1 – True. They increased from 1,909 in 2004 to 1,943 in 2005.

Q2 – False. Despite more cinemas, the number of tickets sold dropped from 92m in 2004 to only 82m in 2005.

Q3 – True. Of course they did. But it’s closer than you think. It increased from $9.92 in 2004 to $9.94 in 2005.

Q4 – True. 2004 was a horrid year with just $12m in total but it rebounded with $23m in 2005. 2006 is looking good too.

Q5 – False. Cinema admissions accounted for $779m in revenue whereas video hire was just $472m.


How did you fare? The results are interesting. It shows that the cinema industry is indeed becoming more competitive. There are more releases and more cinemas but less people coming in through the door. This has to be hurting the bottom line and it probably explains why the average ticket price only increased by $0.02 in 2005 – competition is forcing more discounting and special offers to attract patrons. It might also explain why the smaller cinemas, such as Schonell, have been forced to close.


See ya next time!