Day-and-date under-achievers released in Oz

17 February, 2014 by Don Groves

When Australian distributors launch films in the same week as the US, it’s usually because they want to cash in on the global hype and publicity- or they are striving to limit the impact of lousy of-of-mouth on social media.

The latter tactic is clearly the case with Endless Love and Winter’s Tale, which both aimed to capitalise as date movies on Valentine’s Day.

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Endless Love, the remake of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film which starred Brooke Shields but was more memorable for newcomers Tom Cruise and James Spader, fetched $1.08 million in Australia, earning nearly half of that last Friday.

In the US, the romantic drama starring Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood and Joely Richardson took an estimated $US13.3 million in four days, a poor result.

Winter's Tale, a time travelling romance based on Mark Helprin’s 1983 best -selling novel, produced by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, conjured up just $552,000 in Oz and a blah $7.7 million in the US.

That just shows what happens when a talented cast led by Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Downtown Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay and William Hurt work with dodgy material.

The LEGO Movie had a spirited second weekend in the US, raking in an estimated $60 million over the President’s Day weekend, which propels its cume to $143.8 million. The Warner Bros./VRP animated blockbuster opens here on April 3.

Another Valentine’s Day offering in Oz, Are We Officially Dating?, was released in the US on January 31 under the unappealing title That Awkward Moment, and bombed. So the opening tally of $960,000 ($1.07 million with previews and festival screenings) for the sex comedy starring Zac Efron was a bit more respectable.

Overall, takings edged up by 2% to $12.3 million. The Wolf of Wall Street was No 1, posting $2 million in its fourth weekend, which brings its earnings to a lucrative $18.2 million.

The RoboCop remake fell by a reasonable 26% to $1.7 million, pocketing nearly $4.6 million in 11 days. Geezer comedy Last Vegas eased by just 9% in its second weekend, scoring $1.5 million, sending its tally to $3.8 million.

For whatever reason, the Nelson Mandela biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is not resonating as the film dropped by 38% in its second weekend, taking $1.2 million thus far.  

Dallas Buyers Club rang up $404,000 in its debut on 59 screens, benefiting from the hype for the Oscar nominations for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. The 1980s-set tale is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a Dallas electrician and rodeo cowboy who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs from Mexico and distributed them to fellow sufferers despite opposition from the Food and Drug Administration. Including previews, it's made $524,000.

French lesbian drama Blue is the Warmest Colour has been mired in controversy since it won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year due to a row between director Abdellatif Kechiche and lead actresses Adèle Exarchopolous and Léa Seydoux, who claimed they were traumatised during filming.  Yet that notoriety does not seem to have sparked much curiosity here, judging by the $57,000 debut on 16 screens ($72,000 with previews).

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE Feb 13-16

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

The Wolf of Wall Street

4/330

$1,994,741

-11

$18,280,321

2

RoboCop

2/227

1,683,446

-26

4,589,414

3

Last Vegas

2/259

1,449,450

-9

3,830,850

4

Endless Love

1/217

1,079,076

NA

1,079,076

5

Are We Officially Dating?   

1/171

959,674

NA

1,067,497

6

12 Years a Slave

3/141

 598,823

-17

3,765,027

7

Winter’s Tale

1/157

552,003

NA

552,003

8

The Book Thief

6/181

439,103

-32

12,886,303

9

Dallas Buyers Club

1/59

403,591

NA

523,988

10

Frozen  

8/186

358,863

-28

34,170,134

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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