Bad Neighbours great, 52 Tuesdays fair

05 May, 2014 by Don Groves

Universal’s raucous comedy Bad Neighbours easily topped the Australian B.O. last weekend while festival prize-winner 52 Tuesdays had a decent debut in limited release.

A caper about a young couple and their new-born baby who are forced to live next to a fraternity house starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne, Bad Neighbours grabbed $2.6 million purely from previews.

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That points to a hefty opening for the film directed by Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek) in Australia on Thursday and in the US on Friday.

Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays, which stars newcomer Tilda Cobham-Hervey as a 16-year-old who struggles with the revelation that her mother (Del Herbert-Jane) plans to change gender, earned $24,000 in its first four days at 10 cinemas and $50,000 with previews and festival screenings.

Hyde, who the won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January, tells IF, “Though the numbers might look small I think they are sitting about where we expected them. 52 Tuesdays is an adventurous, unique, daring film and it'll take a while for Australian audiences to trust that an Australian film can go there, and to do it effectively and honestly.

“The great challenges are to get people to recognise it – with no stars and not enough money for paid advertising – and that's started to happen. The second challenge is to get people into the cinema while the film is on. The numbers show that people are speaking about it positively and telling their friends; the Sunday figures were an improvement across the board on the first few days. We are actually thrilled audiences are coming and responding so brilliantly to the film.

“The important thing for us was always to get enough people in to convince the cinemas to keep it on and allow the audience to grow. This is increasingly rare for Australian films and yet traditionally that's how they have achieved any kind of box-office numbers.

“We would have hoped the screen average would be slightly higher but there were a lot of event screenings… including the Star Wars 4th of May phenomena.”

Industry-wide, takings last weekend plunged by 39% to $11.4 million, according to Rentrak’s estimates, a natural attrition after the Anzac Day long weekend.

Fox’s comedy The Other Woman collected $2.2 million in its third outing, falling by 48% as audiences gravitated to Bad Neighbours. But the chick flick has pocketed a lucrative $14.6 million and overtaken The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro, which raked in $1.3 million at the weekend and $13.6 million to date. That’s a result almost no one expected, least of all Sony.

The Star Wars marathon rang up $367,000 on 46 screens. The only other newcomer in the top 10 was Fading Gigolo, the John Turturro-directed comedy starring Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Vanessa Paradis and Turturro, which seduced $244,000 on 62 screens and $369,000 with previews.

In the art-house circuit all the debutantes struggled. Despite glowing reviews François Ozon’s drama Young and Beautiful managed just $31,300 on 20 screens.

Beyond the Edge, Leanne Poley’s 3D documentary re-enacting the first ascent of Everest in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, roped in $6,000 at five locations.

Sneezing Baby Panda: The Movie, a mockumentary which follows an Australian zoologist who travels to China to track down a panda to help save her zoo, took less than $1,000 from limited weekend sessions at nine cinemas.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE May 1-4

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Bad Neighbours

PV/296

$2,631,217

NA

$2,631,217

2

The Other Woman

3/328

2,239,553

-48

14,675,428

3

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

3/452

1,354,873

-59

13,569,686

4

                   The Grand Budapest Hotel

4/244

1,068,088

-34

 8,415,427

5

The LEGO Movie

5/329

766,662

-72

28,443,110

6

Divergent

4/220

536,337

-57

9,710,987

7

Transcendence

2/240

526,651

-62

2,268,641

8

Captain America 2

5/440

510,684

-62

19,164,647

9

Star Wars Marathon

1/46

367,160

NA

367,160

10

Fading Gigolo

1/58

244,247

NA

369,437

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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