BO Report: André Rieu strikes a chord while ‘Beast’ lacks bite

'André Rieu’s 2022 Maastricht Concert: Happy Days Are Here Again' (Image: Marcel van Hoorn)

Dutch violinist André Rieu very nearly took centre stage on another slow weekend for the Australian box office, with the screening of his 2022 Maastricht Concert falling just short of overtaking Bullet Train to claim the number one position.

According to data from Numero, Piece of Magic’s André Rieu’s 2022 Maastricht Concert: Happy Days Are Here Again bowed to $923,989 from 155 screens to easily record the best screen average of the top ten titles at $5,961 per session.

Audiences came from more than 80 countries to attend the open-air concerts held in the Vrijthof square, with this being the 18th year ‘The King of Waltz’ and his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra have presented the traditional summer series in Rieu’s hometown of Maastricht and the first since before the pandemic.

Given its success, the concert will screen encores in the coming weeks in Australia, including special Father’s Day screenings.

At the top of the box office, Sony’s Bullet Train sped past $9 million in gross ticket sales, with $978,509 from its fourth frame, reflecting a drop of only 25 per cent from the previous weekend.

Of the other new releases, Universal’s Beast, starring Idris Elba, could only manage $493,860 from 313 screens for a modest average of $1,578 per session.

In Baltasar Kormákur’s survival thriller, Elba stars as Nate Samuels, a grieving father who finds himself in a battle to keep his two teenage daughters safe from a rogue lion while on a trip to South Africa.

It came in just ahead of fellow debut title, The Invitation, from Australian director Jessica M. Thompson, which bowed to $460,669 from 241 screens to record an average of $1,911 per session.

Distributed by Sony, the thriller follows Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) who, after the loss of her mother, discovers a long-lost cousin she never knew about and heads out to the English countryside to meet her newfound extended family during a lavish weekend wedding. Upon arriving, she meets Walter (Thomas Doherty), a seductively handsome nobleman, and is drawn in by his irresistible charm. However, things take a darker turn as she uncovers the twisted secrets buried within her family’s history.

Overseas, the film led the way in what was one of the lowest-grossing weekends so far at the US summer box office, taking in US$7 million from 3,114 theaters, contributing to an overall domestic total of US$52.7 million, according to Comscore.

In Australia, the top 20 titles grossed $6.8 million, down 3 per cent on last weekend, setting a new mark for the slowest of the year.

Wallis Cinemas programming manager David Simpson admitted it was a “lacklustre weekend” with the exception of “flying Dutchman” Rieu.

The Invitation and Beast did nada,” he told IF.

DC Super Pets previews this coming weekend should be a break in the clouds for some blue sky this early spring.”

Continuing to soar well above the box office clouds is Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick, which returned to the top three in its 14th frame, taking in $628,693 to track at $89 million overall.

It meant that Universal’s Nope occupied fourth position in its third outing, managing $503,998 to take its gross total past $3.9 million.

Further down, Reset Collective and Roadshow’s Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, helmed by Australian director Sophie Hyde, had a respectable sophomore weekend, amassing $457,430 in ticket sales for a decline of only 16 per cent and a gross total of $1.8 million.

Sony’s Where The Crawdads Sing was next on the list, drawing $427,518 in its sixth weekend to surpass $10 million overall.

Warner Bros.’ Elvis and Sony’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, both in their tenth frame, rounded out the top ten, with the former achieving $354,916 to reach a gross total of $32.3 million, while the latter added another $329,877, putting its overall sales at $42.7 million.

For Kristian Connelly, CEO of Carlton’s Cinema Nova, minor declines for Nope and Good Luck To You Leo Grande, coupled with a range of new festival titles, put the venue in good stead.

“Cinema Nova enjoyed a respectable weekend following the conclusions of the Melbourne International Film Festival and the subsequent arrival of an attractive slate of new releases, including Crimes of the Future and Fire Of Love,” he said.

“Both Nope, in week three, and Good Luck To You Leo Grande, in week two, saw minor week-on-week declines, dipping by 10 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.

“National Theatre Live production Prima Facie experienced another decent frame off a handful of sessions. As the quality of new movies improves in the coming weeks we hope to keep building audience interest and rebuild the habit of regular moviegoing.”

Among the festival titles to make their debut was Del Kathryn Barton’s Blaze, distributed by Bonsai Films, which bowed to $13,081 from 35 screens for an average of $374 per session and 29th position on the list.

Of the other local titles, Madman’s Bosch & Rockit made $40,660 in its second week — a dip of 47 per cent — to reach $178,212 overall and secure 18th position, while Australian-UK co-production Falling for Figaro, jointly distributed by Paramount and Umbrella Entertainment, fell just outside the top 20, taking in $24,163 in its seventh outing to move past a gross total of $1 million.