See-Saw Films’ controversial sex-addiction film, Shame, has had a strong opening weekend at the US box office.

The film, which across the Pacific is rated NC-17, grossed an impressive $361,181 from just 10 theatres, giving it a phenomenal screen average of $36,118.

US distributor Fox Searchlight was testing the waters on the Steve McQueen-directed flick which has been embroiled in controversy. Actor Michael Fassbender, best known for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, plays Brandon, who is a busy New Yorker balancing work and an active social life. He is also a sex addict. And full-frontal male nudity, plus scenes involving his self-harming sister played by Carey Mulligan, led to the strong rating in the US.

And as a result, it will be rated R in Australia when it opens on February 9 next year, which will restrict the film to be marketed in local cinemas.

Produced by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning through See-Saw Films (which also did The King's Speech and Oranges and Sunshine), the drama will be distributed locally by Transmission.

Shame lost out to Tyrannosaur for Best Picture at last night’s British Independent Film Awards but Fassbender won the gong for his performance. The film was beaten in the other five categories it was nominated in, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. Last year, See-Saw picked up five awards for The King’s Speech (from eight nominations). To watch the trailer to Shame, click here.

In local box office news, Toomelah added just $3287 from four screens (one less than opening weekend). The Indigenous film, directed by Ivan Sen, has now grossed $46,765 (mostly due to preview screenings). The film was recently awarded the prestigious UNESCO Prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs).

Jonathan Teplitzky’s Burning Man added $18,793 from 18 screens in its third week. Distributed by Paramount/Transmission, the emotional thriller has now grossed $173,784.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 stayed at the top of the Aussie box office for the third weekend in a row, making another $2.2 million across 489 screens. It's now netted more than $24 million locally. Jack and Jill, starring Adam Sandler, opened in second place, grossing $1.8 million for Sony Pictures, while British comedy The Inbetweeners raked in another $1.6 million in its second weekend. Immortals ($889,625; Universal) and The Ides of March ($750,479; Roadshow) rounded off the top five movies of the weekend.

Puss In Boots 3D officially opens this week, alongside New Year's Eve, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl and Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Australian films at the box office 2011

Source: IF, MPDAA

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  1. This box office report doesn’t include analyses for any of the 2011 AACTA Best Film nominees. Did any see a bump in box office receipts from the previous weekend because of their nominations?

  2. Nah the nominations didn’t do anything for them unfortunately 🙁 So I didn’t mention it. Most of them have about finished their theatrical run

  3. Wow! Aren’t some of these films suppose to be the “cream” of Australian Film Making?

    look at the numbers, how is they “feeding” back into the Funding Bodies and there Management selections and continuation of employment?

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