‘Tomb Raider.’

MGM and Warner Bros’ prospects of re-activating the Tomb Raider franchise don’t look great judging by the action-adventure’s mediocre debuts in the US, Australia and other markets last weekend.

Meanwhile director Dean Murphy’s joke-filled feature That’s Not My Dog! performed so well on limited sessions that distributor Transmission Films is already discussing a follow-up with the filmmakers.

Faith-based drama I Can Only Imagine opened reasonably well while Ai Weiwei’s documentary Human Flow and Australian investigative doc Kangaroo – A Love-Hate Story both struggled to make an impact.

The March doldrums continued as the top 20 titles collectively clocked up $10.7 million, down 9 per cent on the previous weekend according to Numero.

Norwegian director Roar Uthaug’s Tomb Raider was No. 1, drumming up nearly $2.8 million at 288 locations. Pro-rata, that is slightly better than the estimated US debut of $US23.5 million for the reboot of the 2013 video game which stars Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Kristin Scott Thomas.

However that’s a far cry from the $47.7 million US opening of the original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie way back in 2001.

Some pundits believe the new version will have to make at least $275 million worldwide to recoup the $90 million production budget and marketing costs. That’s a long way off considering that after its second weekend in international markets Vikander’s film has raked in $102.5 million, including China’s nifty $41.1 million debut.

In Oz, Marvel Studios/Disney’s Black Panther raced to $35.8 million after earning $1.9 million in its fifth weekend. Director Ryan Coogler’s superhero adventure has amassed a phenomenal $1.183 billion worldwide: $605.4 million in the US and $577.1 million in the rest of the world.

Fox’s Red Sparrow ranked third, nabbing $1.1 million in its third outing. The Francis Lawrence-directed spy thriller, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts and Jeremy Irons, advanced to $7.6 million.

A consistent performer, Game Night, the Warner Bros. action-comedy starring Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Kyle Chandler, reached $6.1 million after taking $626,000 in its fourth frame.

Sony Pictures Animation/Animal Logic’s Peter Rabbit has mustered $102.4 million after its sixth weekend in the US and $42.7 million in the rest of the world. Here, Sony ran advance screenings for the live-action/CGI animated family comedy/adventure ahead of its Thursday launch, drawing an impressive $457,000 at 151 locations last weekend and $604,000 all told.

After a middling debut, director Nicolai Fuglsig’s 12 Strong plunged by 56 per cent in its second weekend, collecting $407,000. The Roadshow release starring Chris Hemsworth, Navid Negahban, Michael Shannon and Michael Pena has banked a lousy $1.7 million.

Richard Loncraine’s romantic comedy-drama Finding Your Feet has generated a tidy $4.2 million for eOne, scoring $380,000 in its fourth weekend.

Aussie director Michael Gracey’s The Greatest Showman continues to defy gravity, pocketing $358,000 in its 12th frame, grossing $32.9 million for Fox.

Those four Oscars including best film and best director are still paying off for The Shape of Water, which brought in $250,000 in week nine. Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy has conjured up almost $4.5 million for Fox.

Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri climbed to $11.3 million after making $224,000 in its 11th outing for Fox. That is a stand-out considering the US tally of $53.8 million and international’s $95.5 million.

I Can Only Imagine, the Erwin brothers’ story of how Christian band MercyMe created their breakout song, whistled up $212,000 on 61 screens, including previews, for distributor Crossroads.

The stellar line-up of comedians in That’s Not My Dog!, including Shane Jacobson, Paul Hogan, Jimeoin, Steve Vizard, Michala Banas, Fiona O’Loughlin, Lehmo and Ed Kavalee, proved appealing as the film pulled in $123,000 on 79 screens, restricted to one or two sessions per day.

As an alternate content release it will have an accelerated roll-out on home entertainment starting on May 9. Transmission Films’ co-founder Andrew Mackie tells IF, “We’re delighted. Given we had probably a quarter of the sessions of most other films we had good rankings and were even No. 1 in a couple of locations despite playing once or twice a day. We’ve been speaking to the filmmakers over the weekend and we’re keen to do a follow-up as it’s a profitable model.”

Roadshow launched Human Flow, which examines the refugee crisis in 23 countries and its profoundly personal human impact, on 19 screens, fetching $65,000 with previews.

Directors Mick McIntyre and Kate McIntyre Clere’s Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story explores the conflicting opinions around the marsupial said to be at the centre of the largest mass destruction of wildlife in the world.

A worthy endeavour but the Indievillage release took just $10,500 at eight screens.

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