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The 2013 Aussie box office
Iron Man 3 was the Australia's highest grossing movie in 2013. Picture: AP

Hollywood might get slammed for making sequels, prequels and adaptations, but according to this year's Australian box office results, they sell.

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is a case in point - it's the only Aussie film to have made the top 10 and is now the sixth highest selling Australian movie in our country's box office history.

TOP 10 FOR 2013

Legions of Australian fans flocked to the cinema to see Iron Man 3, the first Marvel film since box-office smash The Avengers. It soared into no. 1 spot, earning $39.23 million and giving Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark justification to be cocky.

Animated flick Despicable Me 2 stole second place as Steve Carell's Gru and his loveable minions charmed their way to earn $35.82 million.

Jennifer Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire swooped into third place with $31.97 million in the four weeks since its November 21 release. However, as the sequel is still in cinemas the battle isn't over, with the possibility it could take no. 1 or 2 before the year is out.

In fourth, it might have been deemed an "unfilmable" novel, but Ang Lee's Life of Pi was not only breathtakingly beautiful, but a box office success. It pulled in $28.29 million - not bad for a movie about a man and a tiger trapped on a boat.

The late Paul Walker's Fast and Furious 6 took fifth spot. A seventh film in the franchise, helmed by Australian James Wan, it still going ahead despite the sudden death of its star on November 30.

In sixth was Baz Luhrmann's razzle dazzle adaptation of The Great Gatsby, which held a glitzy Australian premiere in Sydney, where the movie was filmed.

Animated films also did as well. The Croods came seventh and was the only film in the top 10 made up of original content. Meanwhile, Disney's prequel Monsters University, took ninth place.

Another superhero movie, Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill as Superman and Russell Crowe as his father, claimed the no. 8 spot while The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first in Sir Peter Jackson's trilogy, rounded out the top 10.

HOW DID AUSSIE FILMS PERFORM?

The Great Gatsby was easily the most widely seen Australian film in 2013.

Helmed by Baz Luhrmann, the adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel was filmed in Australia and starred Hollywood heavyweights Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire alongside top-notch homegrown talent including Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher.

Aside from its $27.38 million box office takings, it also scored an impressive 14 nods in the AACTA Award nominations (our version of the Oscars).

Close on its heels with 12 nominations, is the low-budget, foreign language film The Rocket, which director Kim Mordaunt filmed entirely on location in Laos. It pulled in $476,122.

Adaptations again performed well. Aside from Gatsby, Australians embraced the unique sell that was The Turning, based on Tim Winton's short stories. It ran for three hours, featured shorts from 17 different directors, offered an interval, a large cast including Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett, and raked in an impressive $1.23 million.

Bubbly musical Goddess, starring Ronan Keating, Magda Szubanski and Broadway star Laura Michelle Kelly, also cracked the million dollar mark with $1.63 million.

As far as sporting movies went, 70s surfing flick Drift, starring Sam Worthington, Myles Pollard and Xavier Samuel, earned $931,419, while cricket film Save Your Legs! floundered, taking $380,488.

Also starring Samuel was Adoration, a French/Australian co-production with Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and pulled in $175,512.

Last year, The Sapphires represented indigenous film-making, while this year it was Ivan Sen's Mystery Road and Catriona McKenzie's Satellite Boy - which earned $388,848 and $510,034 respectively.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014

Much like the best box office performers of 2013, some of the most anticipated films for next year are sequels and adaptations.

Comic book movies are high on that list, such as X-Men: Days of Future Past starring Aussie Hugh Jackman, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Except for Guardians, they make up some of the 20 or so sequels set for release.

Aside from those already mentioned, the major ones will be annual big-budget flicks like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

However, also in the mix are everything from animated films (Rio 2), to family (Muppets Most Wanted), comedy (Horrible Bosses 2), horror (Paranormal Activity 5) and action (300: Rise of an Empire). Jurassic Park 4 will also finally be hitting screens.

The new year brings with it the promise of a stellar year of Aussie films, many of whom started getting buzz at film festivals in Venice and Toronto.

Aside from the 2013 Boxing Day opener The Railway Man, other Toronto film festival picks include Tracks starring Mia Wasikowska, Felony, written by and starring Joel Edgerton, Aaron Wilson's WWII film Canopy, and Dangerous Minds-style film Around the Block, starring Christina Ricci.

Also on the horizon is Stuart Beattie's Melbourne-filmed horror flick I, Frankenstein, Animal Kingdom director David Michod's crime thriller The Rover and Red Dog director Kriv Stenders' Kill Me Three Times.

Meanwhile John Jarratt will don the sideburns, tatts and terrifying Mick Taylor laugh again for Wolf Creek 2, while The Babadook (selected for Sundance) also promises scares.

Russell Crowe is making his directing debut with The Water Diviner, currently being filmed in Australia. However, he's also generating attention with the upcoming Noah, as is fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman for her royal turn in Grace of Monaco.

Other films getting hype include Godzilla, Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie as the Disney baddie, Divergent, which some are calling 'the next Hunger Games', and dramas such as 12 Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Australian box office Top Ten for 2013*

1. IRON MAN 3 - $39.23 million, released April 24

2. DESPICABLE ME 2 - $35.82 million, released June 20

3. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE - $31.97 million, released November 21

4. LIFE OF PI - $28.29 million, released January 1

5. FAST AND FURIOUS 6 - $27.47 million, released June 6

6. THE GREAT GATSBY - $27.38 million, released May 30

7. THE CROODS - $25.28 million, released March 28

8. MAN OF STEEL - $24.33 million, released June 27

9. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY - $24.26 million, released June 20

10. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY - $23.82 million, released December 26, 2012

  • Figures according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia as at December 15, 2013