Baz Lurhmann's epic romance Australia has only been open for aweek but is already the most successful local film of 2008, with agross of $5.1m (a$7.9m).

Whether it will overtake the highest grossingfilm of the year so far, The Dark Knight, starring the late Australian-born Heath Ledger, is yet to be seen. The Dark Knighttook $29.4m (a$45.7m) in Australia, making the territory the thirdbiggest market for the film following the US and the UK.

To the end ofNovember, the total Australian box office was $534.2m (a$830.2m),compared to $524m (a$814m) for the same period in 2007. Similarly,admissions are up to 85.5 million this year from 84.7 million to theend of November in 2007.

Estimates suggest the total box office will beup 2%-4% for the whole of 2008, although admissions may not increase asmuch due to ticket price rises.