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Hollywood hits drive strong summer for NZ cinema

A host of blockbusters has delivered big numbers for New Zealand cinema, with 1.27 million admissions from December 15 to January 28.

The star of the season was Wonka, which drove the most admissions across the holidays. Since its release on December 14, Wonka has proven its multigenerational appeal, with 319,000 admissions delivered across New Zealand. The film has also surpassed the global box office performance of the original 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Tim Burton’s 2005 film adaptation Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

DC’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was the second biggest film over the summer with 168,000 admissions, and Illumination Animation’s, Migration accumulated 117,000 admissions across its school holiday stint.

Breakout success and modern romcom Anyone But You, starring Sydney Sweeney, secured 89,000 admissions during its school holiday run and resonated strongly with youth audiences with an impressive 51% of admissions delivered from the P14-24 demographic.

Tina Fey’s American musical comedy, Mean Girls, proved to be a hit amongst Kiwis, delivering 49,000 admissions and is poised to continue its successful box office run over the coming weeks.

Matt Tremain, Sales Director of Val Morgan New Zealand commented on the summer results, noting that they were shaped by powerful titles centred around strong female characters.

“Over the summer we’ve witnessed an abundance of compelling titles featuring strong female characters. This has played a pivotal role in seven out of the top ten films during the school holidays delivering female-skewed audiences. This builds on the momentum sparked by the blockbuster success of Barbie, with the outlook for female-driven storytelling to continue its upward trajectory in 2024.”

As the 2023-24 summer of cinema comes to a close, the upcoming slate promises to give brands and audiences more exciting content and cultural moments to be part of.

Anticipated releases such as Dune Part Two, Kung Fu Panda 4, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga are set to captivate audiences in the next four months.

Looking further ahead Despicable Me 4, Deadpool 3, Joker: Folie a Deux, Wicked Part 1, Moana 2 and Mufasa: The Lion King are all set to hit the silver screen.

The upcoming releases from well-established and beloved film franchises such as Despicable Me 4 and Mufasa: The Lion King, coupled with the release of captivating original productions like Wicked Part 1, present a compelling chance for brands to align with some of the biggest moments in contemporary culture” added Tremain.

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