Jersey Boys on song in Oz

07 July, 2014 by Don Groves

Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys is proving to be more popular in Australia than in the US, at least judging by the opening weekend.

The biopic of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons inspired by the musical rang up nearly $1.9 million in its first four days in Oz, and $2 million with previews.

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Pro-rata, that’s a stronger debut than in the US, where the film co-produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros. bowed with a lousy $US13.3 million. Still, that was a brighter start in the US than Eastwood’s recent efforts J. Edgar ($11.2 million), Hereafter ($12 million) and Invictus ($8.6 million).

Weekend takings in Australia slipped by 3% to $18.6 million, according to Rentrak’s estimates. The winter business in Oz has been solid so far, more robust than in the US where the summer B.O. is down nearly 20% on last year.

Transformers: Age of Extinction held top spot despite tumbling by 45% to $4.8 million in its second weekend, elevating its total to $18.5 million. That’s OK but the fourth edition of the franchise has no show of matching the previous edition, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, which finished with $37.6 million.

Michael Bay’s noisy sci-fi action-adventure is not tracking well in the US, plunging by 63% to $37.6 million despite the Fourth of July holiday, which brings its 10-day tally to $175.3 million. However Paramount can see plenty of upside in China, where the film has raked in a whopping $212 million.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is first choice for kids and families during the school vacation, improving by 16% to $2.9 million in its third outing, advancing to $17.6 million.

Clearly seeing room in the market for two major animated films, Dragon’s distributor Fox unleashed Rio 2, which grabbed nearly $2.7 million, raising its total including previews to $4.5 million.

Disney’s Tinker Bell: The Pirate Fairy, the fifth film in the Disney Toon Studios’ Tinker Bell series, conjured up a fair $663,000 as it rolled out in the States which started vacation last week, taking total earnings to $1.5 million.

Rave reviews and a publicity visit during the Sydney Film Festival by director John Michael McDonagh paid off for Calvary. The drama starring Brendan Gleeson as an Irish priest whose life is threatened by a victim of child abuse brought in $366,000 in its debut on 36 screens, one of the few upscale titles to post a per-screen average of more than $10,000 this year. With previews and the fest screening, Calvary has pocketed $423,000.

The Breakup Guru, a Chinese rom-com based on a stage play, opened with a mediocre $91,000 on 11 screens after being slammed by Variety's critic for its racist and homophobic humour.

The other art-house rookies made little impression. Belle and Sebastian, a French film about a boy and his dog set during WW2, made $28,000 on 23 screens, but it had already banked $142,000 from sneaks and fest screenings.

Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by magicians Penn and Teller about a guy who sets out to recreate a painting by 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, collected $11,000 at four cinemas.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE July 3-6

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Transformers: Age of Extinction

2/623

$4,844,619

-45

$18,496,967

2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

3/527

2,914,947

+16

17,586,391

3

Rio 2

1/471

2,687,083

NA

4,526,644

4

                  22 Jump Street

3/350

2,635,177

-26

17,702,846

5

Jersey Boys

1/301

1,879,074

NA

2,012,257

6

Tinkerbell: The Pirate Fairy

2/169

663,237

+97

1,502.663

7

Maleficent

6/167

619,892

-11

14,954,018

8

The Fault in our Stars

5/206

491,680

-37

12,165,997

9

Blended

4/154

382,953

-25

3,950,210

10

Calvary

1/36

366,186

NA

423,553

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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