Local hits up big at NZ boxoffice

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- The New Zealand Film Commission's 2005-06 slate of films accounted for 10% of the domestic boxoffice here, a seven-fold hike on the previous year's admissions for Kiwi movies, according to figures released Thursday.

The agency's annual report said that the "The World's Fastest Indian," "Sione's Wedding," "River Queen" and "No. 2" were seen by 1.35 million people in the year that ended in June.

"This is strong evidence the commission's cultural focus is generating our best financial results," chairman David Cullwick said in a statement.

The most popular release, "The World's Fastest Indian," grossed NZ$7 million ($4.6 million), a record for a New Zealand movie domestically, and sold to 120 territories.

The commission spent NZ$20.8 million ($13.7 million) -- nearly 80% of its budget -- on development and production. Most was spent on financing features, with 10 in 2005-06 compared to seven the previous year.
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