By Brendan Swift

WWI film Beneath Hill 60 has become the third local feature this year to crack the $2 million mark at the box office.

However, the film's screen average suffered a significant drop after building during the Anzac Day long weekend. It grossed a further $359,823 – a drop of 43 per cent – over the weekend across 163 screens. Its screen average now stands at $2,208.

It is now the third most successful film this year at the box office after indigenous musical Bran Nue Dae, which grossed more than $7.5 million, and local vampire film, Daybreakers, which took almost $2.5 million. (Jane Campion's Bright Star also posted the bulk of its $3.01 million box office this year although it was released in December 2009.)

Beneath Hill 60 cost an estimated $9.5 million to produce and tells the true story of Oliver Woodward and his platoon of ordinary Australian miners who tunnelled beneath enemy lines and changed the course of the war on the Western Front.

Meanwhile, psychological thriller Triangle posted an opening box office weekend of just $6,081 after distributor Icon released the film across just four screens. The film stars Melissa George as Jess, who sets in chain a series of strange events after setting sail on a yacht with a group of friends.

Meanwhile, black comedy Accidents Happen added a further $22,747 to its tally across 14 screens in its second week. It has now almost reached the $100,000 mark at the box office.

Iron Man 2, which includes the visual effects work of local company Fuel, posted an impressive $9.5 million opening weekend across 473 screens. Its screen average was $20,100.

Among other upcoming Australian fare, Peter Helliar's comedy I Love You Too and coming of age drama Playing For Charlie both open in cinemas this Thursday.

 Opening w/e
 Box Office

Bran Nue Dae
$20m est.
Beneath Hill 60
Bright Star
$16.7m est.
Accidents Happen
Girl Clock!
Separation City
Going Vertical
The Pack/Blue Sea Films



Source: MPDAA, INSIDEFILM. Separation City is a NZ film. Bright Star released Dec 26, 2009; tally does not include 2009 box office.

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