Box Office: Waiting City opens with $136K

By Brendan Swift

Emotional local drama The Waiting City has opened with a muted $136,892 at the box office in its opening weekend at cinemas.

The film, which stars Joel Edgerton and Radha Mitchell as a couple who travel to India to adopt a baby, was screened across 25 screens, giving it a screen average of $5476. Including recent preview screenings, the film has grossed just over $181,000 in total.

The Waiting City is the feature debut of writer-director Claire McCarthy and was one of the first Australian films to be shot in India.

Meanwhile, among other local fare, crime saga Animal Kingdom grossed another $178,987 across 71 screens. It has now taken more than $4.31 million at the box office.

It joins Kings of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2 and Bran Nue Dae as one of three films released this year to have cracked the top 50 Australian feature films of all time at the box office.

Last year, only two Australian films joined the top 50: dance epic Mao's Last Dancer (in 12th place with more than $15.43 million) and sci-fi thriller Knowing (in 30th position with almost $7.6 million). Animal Kingdom and Mao's Last Dancer will both be released in US cinemas next month.

Creation – the story of naturalist Charles Darwin, which was written by Australian screenwriter John Collee – opened across 40 screens and posted $114,799 at the box office. The film stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly and is being distributed by Icon.

Meanwhile, among more mainstream fare, the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz blockbuster Knight & Day took $3.75 million in its opening weekend. The film, which is being distributed by Fox, was released across 360 screens, posting an average of $10,426 per screen.

Australian films at the box office – 2010

 Opening w/e
 Box Office
Bran Nue Dae
The Kings of Mykonos…
$6m est.
Animal Kingdom
$5m est.
Beneath Hill 60
$20m est.
I Love You Too
Bright Star
$16.7m est.
The Waiting City
$2m est.
Accidents Happen
$6.5m est.
Love, Lust & Lies
Beyond Entertainment
Kojo Pictures
Girl Clock!
Separation City
$8m est.
Going Vertical
The Pack/Blue Sea Films
Savages Crossing
Playing For Charlie
The Pack
The Horseman
Umbrella Entertainment


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