John Jarratt’s serial killer Mick Taylor squared off against Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana and Emile Hirsch as Navy SEALs in Afghanistan in Australian cinemas last weekend.

Wolf Creek 2 was the victor over Lone Survivor, but not by a huge margin. Greg Mclean’s horror movie inspired by the Ivan Milat backpacker murders rang up $1.68 million, and $1.7 million with previews.

A sizable hit in the US, the Peter Berg-directed Lone Survivor raked in $1.48 million, $1.53 million with sneaks. It will be fascinating to see where these two male-skewed films finish up, considering Lone Survivor’s takings trailed the Australian film on Thursday, Friday and Saturday but overtook it on Sunday.

The first Wolf Creek pulled in $1.23 million in its opening in 2005 and ended up with $6.1 million, an unusually strong multiple of five times the first weekend.

Overall it was a dreary weekend as nationwide grosses slumped by 19% to $9.9 million. The only other title to earn more than $1 million was The Wolf of Wall Street, which nabbed $1.06 million in its fifth outing, advancing to $19.8 million.

Two upscale titles, Roger Michell’s Le Week-end and Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, went head to head. The former, a romantic comedy-drama starring Lindsay Duncan, Jim Broadbent and Jeff Goldblum, proved to be more accessible, taking $228,000 on 59 screens, $254,000 with previews.

Nebraska, which stars Bruce Dern as a cantankerous, befuddled old-timer who heads from Montana to Nebraska believing he’s won $1 million in a lottery, fetched $141,000 on 43 screens, $143,000 with sneaks. Still, the six Oscar nominations and terrific word-of-mouth are likely to sustain Payne’s hugely entertaining black-and-white road movie.

The nine Oscar nods for Twelve Years a Slave are paying dividends as Steve McQueen’s historical drama collected $414,000 in its fourth frame, lifting its total to $4.4 million.

The six nominations for Dallas Buyers Club appear to be having less of an impact as the true-life AIDS drama took $275,000 in its second weekend, scoring $941,000 thus far.

After getting some uplift from being launched on the Valentine’s Day weekend, Are We Officially Dating? and Endless Love both plummeted in their second outings, taking $454,000 and $401,000 respectively, $1.77 million and $1.68 million thus far.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE Feb 20-23

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Wolf Creek 2

1/216

$1,681,636

NA

$1,702,073

2

Lone Survivor

1/259

1,485,667

NA

1,534,293

3

The Wolf of Wall Street

5/307

1,061,828

-47

19,857, 330

4

Last Vegas

3/247

810,959

-46

5,058,199

5

RoboCop    

3/224

799,147

-53

5,795,834

6

Are We Officially Dating?   

2/174

 454,360

-53

1,773,963

7

12 Years a Slave

4/158

413,758

-31

4,433,619

8

Endless Love 

2/206

401,027

-63

1,688,288

9

Dallas Buyers Club  

2/70

274,669

-32

941,162

10

The Book Thief  

7/141

272,632

-38

13,362,268

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

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