Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 3 was an emphatic No. 1 at Australian cinemas last weekend, easily beating Sony’s bawdy buddy comedy Rough Night.
Illustrating the challenges facing Australian and other small independent films, director Pete Gleeson’s confronting observational documentary Hotel Coolgardie struggled to find audiences.
None of the other limited new releases including The Promise, Punjab comedy Super Singh and documentaries Whitney: Can I Be Me? and Risk made an impression.
The top 20 titles collected $17.4 million, up by 1.9 per cent over the previous weekend, according to Numero.
Co-directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda and featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker, Despicable Me 3 rang up a terrific $5.9 million on 456 screens, 20 per cent bigger than the second edition's debut and the third best in June for an animated title behind Toy Story 3 and Finding Dory.
Warner Bros’ superhit Wonder Woman fell by 41 per cent in its third weekend but fetched a hearty $3.3 million on 388, propelling its total to $20.4 million.
Lionsgate/Roadshow’s Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me whistled up an impressive $1.7 million in its debut on only 164 screens, a per-screen average of more than $10,000.
Paramount’s The Mummy reboot is heading for an early grave, tumbling by 64 per cent in its second weekend. The Alex Kurtzman-directed creature feature unearthed $1.6 million on 364, taking its tally to $7.9 million.
There is plenty of girl power in Rough Night’s cast led by Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz and Ilana Glazer but neither females nor males seemed interested in the comedy from writer-director Lucia Aniello. Pro-rata the Australian debut of $1.56 million on 345 screens and $2 million with previews wasn’t as bad as the disastrous $US8 million opening in the US, where moviegoers did not see the joke in women accidentally killing a male stripper.
Paramount’s Baywatch, the Seth Gordon-directed caper inspired by the TV series, isn’t a total wipe-out but after plunging by 58 per cent to $915,000 in its third frame the total is a mediocre $8.5 million.
Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales dug up $639,000 in its fourth voyage on 248 down 59 per cent, banking $13.5 million.
In its second weekend, Fox’s My Cousin Rachel, the Roger Michell-directed romantic drama starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, eased by 32 per cent, mustering $281,000 on 73 screens as it advanced to a sturdy $923,000.
Transmission’s Churchill, Jonathan Teplitzy’s WW2 drama starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson, drummed up $219,000 on 86, off by 34 per cent, tallying $767,000 after two weeks.
A steady earner, Transmission’s drama Viceroy’s House reached $2.8 million after making $192,000 in its fifth weekend on 139, falling by 38 per cent.
EOne’s The Promise, an American historical drama film directed by Terry George and starring Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale, drew $137,000 on 50.
Hotel Coolgardie, which follows two Finnish backpackers, Lina and Steph, who arrive in the WA mining town after being robbed in Bali and are seen as “fresh meat” by the pub’s male patrons, took $9,800 at three screens and $15,565 with previews according to ComScore.
Mind Blowing Films’ Super Singh, a superhero comedy starring Diljit Dosanjh, opened with a not-so-super $64,000 on 33.
Rialto launched Whitney: Can I Be Me? Nick Broomfield’s film chronicling the rise and fall of singer Whitney Houston, on 84 screens, generating just $62,000.
Madman’s Risk, Laura Poitra’s doco on Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks saga, scraped up less than $3,000 on four screens.
Updating the totals of the Aussie films still in release, Lion is the stand-out with $29.5 million followed by Jasper Jones with $2.6 million. Don’t Tell has collected $376,000 in five weeks, Berlin Syndrome $249,000 and Whiteley $242,000. Hounds of Love has mustered $125,000 in three weeks and Boys in the Trees just $25,000.