Big Mamma’s Boy posts decent opening at the Box Office

Despite largely negative reviews, new Australian rom-com Big Mamma’s Boy has posted a decent opening weekend.

The Melbourne comedy, which opened on 33 metro screens, grossed $106,597, giving it an impressive screen average of $3230. The film will open in regional areas in the next few weeks, producer Matteo Bruno confirmed to IF last Friday.

Directed by Franco Di Chiera, the feel-good film – which received the producer offset tax break and Screen Australia completion funds – touts itself as a comedy about life, love and lasagna. It follows the story of 35-year-old Rocco (Frank Lotito) and his decision to move out of home in order to impress lady-love Katie (former Neighbours star and sometimes-singer Holly Valance).

Penned by Lotito (who also undertook not only acting but producing duties) and shot with the Sony F35, the comedy was filmed in April last year for six weeks.

Aussie horror flick Needle, distributed by Filmscope, opened on six Perth, WA screens, and posted a modest $10,335.

The film’s sales agent, Lightning Entertainment, has just sold the rights to major European distributor Entertainment One (E1), which will screen the film in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. The horror film has now sold to 65 international territories, including the US, UK, Germany and France.

“We always knew releasing our film against US blockbusters like Captain America and Hanna was going to be extremely tough, especially considering our limited marketing budget,” Filmscope’s Deidre Kitcher said in a statement.

The film, directed by John V Soto, opened on 62 screens in Turkey and was the fourth highest grossing film over their three-day weekend. Needle (aka Kara Büyü) had 9281 admissions, grossing 97,172 Turkish lira ($AU52,250), which is reportedly a record for a non-studio foreign film. 

The supernatural murder mystery, shot in Perth, is about a killer who uses an 18th century "voodoo" machine with supernatural powers to terrorise students at a local college.

In its opening weekend, Captain America: The First Avenger shielded off its competition and took out number one spot at the local box office, raking in $4.6 million across 428 screens. This gave the new superhero flick a strong screen average of $10,750. A teaser trailer for 2012 film The Avengers has been uploaded online, however it contains footage from the end of Captain America.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 continued its strong run at the box office, taking in a further $3.8 million across 663 screens. The final instalment posted the biggest box office opening day in history after debuting on July 13. It has also gone on to break the record for the biggest opening week locally and is now the highest-grossing franchise of all time, ahead of Star Wars.

Completing the top five on the weekend was Cameron Diaz’s latest film Bad Teacher, which made $1.7 million for Sony Pictures, and Universal’s latest flicks Bridesmaids ($731,707) and Hanna ($721,207).

Jim Loach's Oranges and Sunshine continued its run Down Under, grossing $66,293 across 76 screens, while Madman’s Snowtown took $10,449 from 12 screens. It’s now crossed the million dollar mark, grossing $1,097,683 since it opened 11 weeks ago.

Paramount/Transmission Films’ Sleeping Beauty took a further $2717 from just three screens, bringing its total to $300,888.

Australian films at the local box office in 2011

 Opening w/e
 Box Office
Oranges and Sunshine
Madman Entertainment
Mrs. Carey's Concert
Music Films
Mad Bastards
Sleeping Beauty
Griff The Invisible
Wasted On The Young
The Reef
Pinnacle Films
A Heartbeat Away
Big Mamma's Boy
Madman Entertainment
Pack Screen
Cane Toads: The Conquest
Pinnacle Films
Here I Am

Source: IF, MPDAA