A $192 million cut to production and post-production earnings caused by falling feature-film revenue saw total screen-industry takings drop 4 per cent in 2013.
But the industry was still worth $3.1 billion for the year to April, 2013, Statistics New Zealand said today.
The industry had passed the $3b mark for the first time in 2012.
The 4 per cent drop in screen-industry revenue was caused by decreasing production and post-production revenue, which fell $192m.
More than half of production and post-production revenue, the processes involved in making films, television series, commercials and other formats, was attributable to feature films.
But for the year revenue from features dropped by nearly a fifth, or $180m, to $860m.
The Hobbit, Tintin and Rise of the Planet of Apes had brought Smaug’s riches to the feature films in 2012, rising by $333m to eclipse $1b for the first time.
Statistics NZ screen industry statistics manager Jason Attewell said last year’s drop in revenue showed the project-based nature of the industry.
Revenue had fallen but this followed a record high in 2012.
“Funding for a project leads to a spike in revenue, which drops once the project is completed,” Attewell said.
Wellington businesses earned 81 per cent of the country’s total film revenue, or about $700m.
In 2012 Wellington’s film industry generated $828m.
But last year production revenue, which included activities leading up to and including filming decreased $282m.
Post-production work such as animation and special effects, however, rose $91m.
Both international and domestic sources of resources declined for screen-industry businesses.
Revenue from North America, in particularly, dropped 7 per cent to $433m last year.
Though feature-film revenue dropped earnings from broadcasting and exhibition reels were both up.
Broadcasting, showing movies and television programmes on television and the internet, rose 5 per cent to $1.4b.
This was nearly half of all screen-sector revenue.
Exhibition revenue has been steadily increasing for four years, and reached $171m last year.
Television production funding also increased to $256m, a rise of about 20 per cent.
Auckland businesses accounted for 79 per cent of the country’s television earnings, worth $316m to the region.
Auckland’s screen industry was worth about $2b last year.