Nicole Kidman and beloved bear not so loved

15 December, 2014 by Don Groves

The combination of Nicole Kidman and an iconic talking bear wasn’t so magical as Paddington opened in fourth spot in Australian cinemas last weekend.

The British comedy‘s $1.4 million haul wasn’t terrible, and the total including previews and group bookings was an even more respectable $1.6 million.

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But some exhibitors had higher expectations for the film which co-stars Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Broadbent, Sally Hawkins, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw as the title character’s voice, given Nicole's publicity visit, positive reviews, the popularity of Michael Bond's books and the pedigree of the producer, Harry Potter's David Heyman.

In the battle for kids and family audiences Paddington is going head to head with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The Disney comedy, which stars Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbould, scored $1 million in its second frame (easing by just 13%) , propelling its total to $3.3 million.

Paddington’s distributor Studiocanal is confident the film will build this week with the start of school vacations in Queensland and South Australia, and will have sturdy legs. Even so, another distributor predicts a “bloodbath” among family films in the next few weeks with the debuts of Annie, Big Hero 6, Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb and Penguins of Madagascar.

Nationwide takings slipped by 3% to $9.7 million last weekend, according to Rentrak’s estimates, as executives lamented that most folks are too occupied with Christmas shopping and parties to go to cinemas.

Horrible Bosses 2 launched with nearly $2 million and $2.6 million with previews, enough to take the top spot but way below the original’s $3.17 debut, which is in line with the US performance.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 raked in nearly $1.8 million in its fourth frame, advancing to a lucrative $28.7 million.

Exodus: Gods & Kings plunged by 40% to $1.6 million in its second campaign, earning $5.4 million so far. Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic fetched an estimated $US24.5 million in its US debut, a lousy figure especially compared with Noah’s $43.7 million opening in March.

The initial results here and internationally suggest 20th Century Fox will be hard pressed to recoup the $140 million production budget and no doubt hefty P&A spend.

Cong Cong Na Nian, a Mandarin-language romantic drama set in 1980s Beijing, rang up a dandy $104,000 on just 11 screens.

There was a rare win in the art house market as Folies Bergère, a poignant French comedy/romance starring Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Michael Nyqvist, opened with a spry $87,000 on 20 screens. Including festival screenings the Palace release has amassed an impressive $293,000.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE Dec 11-14  

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Horrible Bosses 2

1/355

$1,954,999

NA

$2,612,701

2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

4/501

1,781,159

-42

28,696,619

3

Exodus: Gods & Kings

2/513

 1,607,567

-40

 5,395,826

4

                    Paddington 

1/324

1,398,913

NA

1,623,463

5

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2/261

1,035,480

-13

3,348,294

6

Interstellar

6/220

683,860

-36

18,565,999

7

Nightcrawler

3/111

269,000

-36

1,730,113

8

My Old Lady

5/116

144,239

-41

2,314,742

9

Gone Girl

11/63

107,607

-42

26,629,446

10

Cong Cong Na Nian

1/11

103,868

NA

103,868

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Jessica

    School holidays have yet to start … so give Paddington Bear a chance for it’s target audience to see it before declaring it a bomb. There are 6 weeks of school holidays for little kids to see all those movies, they will get to them at some point.

    Also kudos to our little Aussie Ed Oxenbould for his smashing performance in his first Disney film.

    Way to go ED !!!

  • Aaron Rowlands

    For an out of holidays start I think it’s something to cheer about. I’ve got $15m on this picture and I can’t see it not smashing a post $10m result at a minimum!