BO Report: Scorsese beats Swift as ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ lands on top

'Killers of the Flower Moon'. (Photo courtesy of Apple)

Killers of the Flower Moon snared the no. 1 position at the Australian box office on the weekend, outpacing Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.

Martin Scorsese’s latest, a 3.5 hour epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone, collected $2.2 million from 403 screens for Paramount, who has partnered with AppleTV+ to distribute the film theatrically.

In North America, Killers of the Flower Moon opened to $US23 million, a result saw it beaten by The Eras Tour, which made $US31 million through its second weekend.

The revisionist Western, which premiered at Cannes and has a reported production cost of more than $US200 million, is widely predicted to be among the Oscars line-up for Best Picture next year. It’s a critical success, with a 92 per cent Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly tells IF the film’s opening was “robust”, noting the local result aligns with the US one, due to solid support from Paramount across upscale media and stellar reviews. With awards season just around the corner, he predicts buzz will maintain interest in the weeks to come.

“Customer awareness of the lengthy running time appears to have seen audiences wait until the weekend to see the film, in addition to prioritising the title at venues offering Gold Class viewing options,” he says.

Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell tells IF the Scorsese film had a decent opening, despite its length resulting a lack of session times.

“The feedback has been great (having watched it yesterday, I agree) and without much else releasing for the next two weeks for a discerning adult audience, we expect it to have good legs.”

The second frame of The Eras Tour amounted $2.1 million, a dip of 44 per cent, bringing the cumulative result for Trafalgar Releasing to $5.9 million.

Dell notes Swift dropped harder at his regional cinemas – almost 70 per cent compared to 44 per cent national drop, which he argues reflects the smaller and older population in regional areas as well as the fewer screens to run as many sessions of another 3-hour movie on top of Killers.

The weekend’s only other major release was Indian actioner Leo. Distributor Cyber Systems opened the Tamil-language film on 138 screens for $1.2 million; it has the highest screen average of any title in the top 20 at $8,424 per screen.

Village Cinemas head of content Geoff Chard tells IF the film was the real standout of the weekend for the circuit, “it was in fact our highest-grossing film, with significantly higher admissions that both KOTFM and The Eras Tour.

Zhang Yimou’s crime drama Under the Light also debuted in the top 10 for CMC, collecting $128,767 from just 23 screens.

Overall, cinemas remain quiet. No other films besides Killers of the Flower Moon, The Eras Tour or Leo made over $400,000. Numero data puts the top 20 just shy of $8 million, down 1 per cent on the previous weekend.

Coming in fourth position was Universal’s The Exorcist: Believer, taking $388,084 in its third frame to move to $2.8 million.

Disney’s The Creator drew $360,194 in its fourth weekend, moving to $4.9 million, while Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie rang up $312,916 in its fifth, moving to $7.6 million.

Saw X is just shy of $3 million for Studiocanal after four weekends, having added an extra $209,138, while Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem stands at $10 million after adding $184,783 in its seventh outing.

In ninth was Roadshow’s EXPEND4BLES, now at $1.5 million after earning $160,050 in its third weekend.

Of the Australian titles in the top 50, Madman’s Shayda took $20,193 in its third to move to $262,648.

Documentary Ford V Holden, directed by Serge Ou and narrated by Shane Jacobson, opened to $12,244 from 22 screens for Park Circus.

Talk to Me, still in cinemas after 13 weekends, is now at $4.24 million for Maslow Entertainment.

Looking ahead to this weekend, Chard notes Five Nights at Freddy’s is performing “well ahead” of Village’s initial expectations in pre-sales.

Australian box office data is via Numero.