Aussie B.O. heads for stratosphere

07 October, 2013 by Don Groves

Box-office takings lifted by 13% to $16.7 million last weekend, powered by an impressive launch for Gravity, a strong hold by Grown Ups 2 and sizable contributions from the children’s/family films during school holidays.

Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón's 3D outer space thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, raked in $3.54 million. Pro-rata, that wasn’t as stellar as the US opening of $US55.8 million, a record for October. However 70% of the receipts in the US came from 3D locations, including 323 IMAX screens, compared with 59% in Australia. That discrepancy prompted one Australian distributor to lament that some Australian cinema operators are not embracing 3D with the same enthusiasm as their US peers. Or perhaps Aussies are less willing to pay the premium for 3D.

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The thriller’s grosses in Oz on Sunday were just 12% lower than Saturday, whereas most other titles were down by 20% or more, which suggests the film will have a long run and could wind up pocketing $15 million-$20 million.

Buddy comedy Grown Ups 2 fell by 24% to $2.3 million, bringing its tally to a lucrative $7.5 million in 11 days. Turbo took $2.2 million in its third obit, boosting its cumulative total to a solid $10.2 million. The Smurfs 2 added $1.75 million to its coffers, advancing to $11.3 million after its fourth outing.

Disney's made-for-DVD animated adventure/comedy Planes collected $1.4 million at the weekend and $5.7 million thus far.

Critics who judged Rush would draw Formula One fans but have minimal interest for the rest of us were right on the money: The tale of the rivalry between Brit James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) opened with $1.2 million.

That’s a mediocre figure considering the calibre of the creative team in director Ron Howard, screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and producers Working Title, but no great surprise because the film spluttered in the US, making $US18 million after its third lap.

Tim Winton’s The Turning fetched $165,000 in its second weekend, slipping by 23%, taking its earnings to $624,000. The responses to the three-hour film from cinemagoers in the capital cities have emboldened the co-distributors CinemaPlus and Madman Entertainment to progressively expand to 30 locations in regional cities including Newcastle, Tamworth, Byron Bay, Wangaratta, Ballarat, Albany, Geraldton, Noosa, Rockhampton and Alice Springs, starting on October 10.

Stuart Blumberg’s Thanks for Sharing has an enticing –sounding premise: Mark Ruffalo as a recovering sex addict who starts dating again after five years of “sobriety,” co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins and Pink. But not many cinemagoers were seduced, judging by the $146,000 debut on 54 screens.

The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary examining the men who took part in Indonesian death squads which slaughtered more than one million Communists, ethnic Chinese, and other so-called dissidents in 1965, may have been too hard to stomach for some: it grossed about $4,700 at two cinemas.

      WEEKEND BOX OFFICE  Oct 3-6

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Gravity

1/469

$3,546,776

NA

$3,548,216

2

Grown Ups 2

2/285

2,288,947

-24

7,479,603

3

Turbo

3/312

2,216,179

-1

10,260,447

4

The Smurfs 2

4/315

1,751,233

-7

11,254,878

5

Planes

3/432

1,437,400

+4

5,805,223

6

Rush

1/223

1,211,040

NA

1,277,457

7

Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters

3/288

1,109,289

-13

6,028,623

8

Runner Runner

2/231

664,346

-48

2,573,584

9

Blue Jasmine

4/115

454,182

-36

4,514,873

10

White House Down

5/149

299,088

-49

6,894,169

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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