Hunger Games, Dr Who are hot, Adoration cold

25 November, 2013 by Don Groves

Australian cinemagoers flocked to the latest edition of The Hunger Games and the Doctor Who anniversary special last weekend, but Adoration was unloved.

Box-office takings shot up to 72% to $20 million, thanks to the two newcomers and a reasonable hold by Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hauled in $12.5 million, 34% bigger than the opening of the original and on par with the debut of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2.

The first Hunger Games wound up with $31.2 million so the sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence as feisty heroine Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Philip Seymour Hoffman has an excellent chance of beating that, particularly with no new films targeting that demographic in the next few weeks.

Worldwide, the fantasy adventure directed by Francis Lawrence scored $US308 million last weekend, including $160.6 million in North America.

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor 3D rang up $1.5 million from 107 locations on Sunday, an extraordinary result for a special event, testimony to the franchise’s manic following in Australia.

The Johnny Knoxville comedy Bad Grandpa fell by 50% to $1.7 million, a decent haul, propelling its 11-day total to $6.2 million.

There was little love for Adoration despite the appealing cast of Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, James Frecheville, Xavier Samuel, Gary Sweet, Ben Mendelsohn and Sophie Lowe, and the well-credentialed screenwriter Christopher Hampton, who adapted Doris Lessing’s novella.

The first English-language feature from French director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel, The Girl From Monaco), it managed a feeble $71,500 on 44 screens. The buzz on the romantic drama about best friends who are bonking each other’s sons hasn’t been great since it premiered at the Sundance festival in January where, in the words of Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers, “it was nearly laughed off the screen.”

Filth, a drama starring James McAvoy as a bipolar, bigoted junkie cop who strives to secure a promotion and win back his wife and daughter, based on an Irvine Welsh novel, bombed with $96,000 on 47 screens.

20 Feet from Stardom, a documentary that pays tribute to the rarely- acknowledged back-up singers behind such big names as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting, whistled up a modest $40,000 on 14 screens.

In the art-house arena, two debutantes didn’t trouble the scorers. Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s expose of a Florida marine park’s investigation of a bull orca implicated in the deaths of three people, hooked $18,000 at six screens.

After May, Olivier Assayas’s loosely autobiographical drama about a young French student caught up in a whirlwind of politics, art and sex in the turbulent era of 1968, made $12,000 at seven cinemas.

Playing only in regional areas, Mark Grentell's Aussie comedy Backyard Ashes has raked in a tidy $134,000 since launching in  four towns  on November 6. Distributor Umbrella Entertainment plans to expand to a further 15 screens in NSW, Victoria, SA, WA and Queensland on December 5 and 12.

      WEEKEND BOX OFFICE Nov 21-24

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

1/580

$12,495,983

NA

$12,495,983

2

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

2/297

1,708,823

-50

6,196,218

3

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

1/107

1,540,706

NA

1,540,706

4

Thor: The Dark World

4/530

1,253,116

-55

20,224,291

5

Captain Phillips

5/232

461,791

-48

8,412,055

6

The Butler

4/205

417,316

-36

3,775,612

7

Enough Said

2/84

347,957

-28

1,038,214

8

Gravity

8/179

309,054

-54

19,786,934

9

The Counselor

3/218

227,947

-67

2,861,445

10

Insidious: Chapter 2

3/88

154,327

-53

1,319,617

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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