Box Office: Beneath Hill 60 nears $550,000

By Brendan Swift

World War I film, Beneath Hill 60, has posted a solid opening weekend at the box office, taking almost $550,000 across more than 160 screens.

It is the third Australian feature film after musical Bran Nue Dae and vampire film Daybreakers to open on more than 100 screens this year. However, both of those films posted substantially higher opening weekend screen averages than Beneath Hill 60's tally of $3,344.

Bran Nue Dae, with an opening weekend screen average of $6,978, had the widest release across 231 screens and went on to take almost $7.5 million. Despite a stronger opening weekend screen average ($7,883) Daybreakers' performance dropped off quickly and it closed with slightly more than $2.4 million.

Cutting Edge founder John Lee, director Jeremy Sims and actor Jack Thompson at a special Beneath Hill 60 screening last week

The $9.5 million Beneath Hill 60, co-distributed by Paramount and Transmission, stars Brendan Cowell and Harrison Gilbertson and was directed by Jeremy Sims. It is based on the true life story of Oliver Woodward who left his new young love to go to the mud and carnage of the Western Front. Once there, he and a secret platoon of Australian tunnelers fought to defend a tunnel system packed with enough high explosives to change the course of the War.

The advertising campaign has included TV slots during the big budget HBO series The Pacific, which is currently screening on Network Seven.

Two other Australian features films are set to open this month: black comedy Accidents Happen on April 22 and psychological thriller Triangle on April 29. Peter Helliar's comedy I Love You Too opens on May 6.

In other box office news, middle age comedy Girl Clock! added a further $1,755 across two screens in its seventh week. It is now set to tour regional Queensland, kicking off at the Nambour Civic Centre on the April 30 weekend followed by Bribie Island Cinema on May 5. More details can be found here.

 Opening w/e
 Box Office

Bran Nue Dae
$20m est.
Bright Star
$16.7m est.
Beneath Hill 60
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.