Aussie audiences jump for buddy cop comedy

23 June, 2014 by Don Groves

The antics of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 22 Jump Street proved irresistible for Australian cinemagoers last weekend.

The sequel to 21 Jump Street easily topped the box-office, pulling in $6.8 million from Thursday to Sunday, and $7 million with previews. Pro-rata, that’s even stronger than the bumbling cop comedy’s $US57.1 million debut in the US the previous weekend, which was the second-biggest opening ever for an R-rated comedy behind The Hangover Part II.

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In second spot DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 conjured up $3.5 million. With previews, the 3D action-fantasy voiced by Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Kristin Wiig and Jonah Hill has raked in $8.7 million.

All told, nationwide takings surged by 25% to $16.7 million, according to Rentrak’s weekend estimates. It wasn’t a memorable weekend for Australian cinema as The Rover plunged by 44% to $81,000 after an inauspicious debut, bringing the 11-day total to $344,000.

One film executive theorised the David Michȏd-directed thriller, set 10 years after world economic collapse, starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, was regarded as too bleak and "arty" to connect with mainstream audiences.

In the US The Rover expanded to 599 screens last weekend after platforming at five cinemas, pocketing a lousy $US562,000 in 10 days. "Unfortunately we were unable to find a broader audience this weekend, but have no doubt that the film will gain fans as we continue to push it out in the weeks and months ahead,” said US distributor  A24.

EOne launched Galore, Rhys Graham’s coming-of-age drama set during the Canberra bushfires, starring Ashleigh Cummings, Lily Sullivan, Toby Wallace, Aliki Matango and Maya Stange, on five screens, earning less than $9,000.

Teen drama/romance The Fault in Our Stars, featuring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, tumbled by 48% in its third outing to $1.3 million,  but nonetheless has amassed nearly $10 million.

Blended, the rom-com pairing Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, dropped by 42% to $764,000 after a mediocre opening, scoring $2.4 million thus far.

Disney's Maleficent advanced to $12.7 million its fourth weekend while Edge of Tomorrow reached $7.7 million after its third weekend and looks like finishing with about $9 million, not a flash figure for a Tom Cruise vehicle. 

The Two Faces of January, a romantic thriller based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac, launched with a nifty $228,000 on 33 screens, and $267,000 with Sydney festival screenings.

Among the other debutantes, Frank, an offbeat comedy about a young wannabe musician who joins an eccentric pop band, whistled up $35,000 on 10 screens, and $69,000 with previews, a poor result for a cast led by Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Rising from Ashes, a documentary that follows US cycling legend Jock Boyer as he moves to Rwanda to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of forming a national cycling team for the London Olympics, failed to inspire audiences, taking $10,000 on six screens.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE June 19-22

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

22 Jump Street

1/359

$6,883,273

NA

$7,072,313

2

How to Train Your Dragon 2  

1/544

3,474,681

NA

8,725,781

3

The Fault in our Stars

3/292

1,270,105

-48

9,970,355

4

            Maleficent    

4/280

1,057,204

-39

12,705,495

5

Edge of Tomorrow

3/311

996,313

-44

7,775,895

6

Blended

2/209

764,685

-42

2,431,014

7

X-Men: Days of Future Past

5/252

643,170

-48

21,659,417

8

The Trip to Italy

4/71

241,291

-20

2,070,398

9

The Two Faces of January

1/33

227,593

NA

267,258

10

A Million Ways to Die in the West

4/189

214,478

-67

5,726,398

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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