Asymptotic properties of the neutral stability curves for a linear boundary eigenvalue problem which models the wrinkling instability of an annular thin film in tension are considered. The film is subjected to imposed radial displacement fields on its inner and outer boundaries and, when these loads are sufficiently large, the film is susceptible to wrinkling. The critical values at which this onset occurs are dictated by the solution of a fourth-order ordinary differential eigensystem whose eigenvalue lambda is a function of mu(>> 1), a quantity inversely proportional to the non-dimensional bending stiffness of the film, and n, the number of half-waves of the wrinkling pattern that sets in around the annular domain. Previously, Coman and Haughton [2006. Localised wrinkling instabilities in radially stretched annular thin films. Acta Mech. 185, 179-200] employed the compound matrix method together with a WKB technique to characterise the form of lambda(mu, n) which essentially is related to a turning point in a reduced eigenproblem. The asymptotic analysis conducted therein pertained to the case when this turning point was not too close to the inner edge of the annulus. However, in the thin film limit mu -> infinity, the wrinkling load and the preferred instability mode are given by a modified eigenvalue problem that involves a turning point asymptotically close to the inner rim. Here WKB and boundary-layer asymptotic methods are used to examine these issues and comparisons with direct numerical simulations made. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.