Bran Nue Dae opens strongly at box office

By Brendan Swift

Indigenous musical Bran Nue Dae has taken more than $1.6 million at the local box office over the weekend.

It is the second biggest opening posted by a local film over the past 12 months, trailing only dance epic Mao’s Last Dancer, which was the biggest movie of 2009.

Bran Nue Dae, which boasts an all-star cast, opened across 231 screens and posted a solid screen average of about $6,977. Including previews, the film has now taken just over $1.69 million since opening last Thursday, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

The movie, based on a popular play by Jimmy Chi, is centred on schoolboy Willie (Rocky McKenzie) and his attempt to get back home to Broome and win the heart of Rosie (Jessica Mauboy).

The film also stars Missy Higgins, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo and Magda Szubanski. It has been strongly promoted by distributor Roadshow, which bought the distribution rights from foundation investor Omnilab.

Jane Campion’s Bright Star posted a 43 per cent drop in box office returns, adding a further $162,298 across 64 screens. It has now taken $2.26 million at the box office.

Meanwhile, the Queensland-shot vampire film Daybreakers has continued its solid run at the US box office and has now taken $US24.19 million after 10 days, according to Box Office Mojo.

The film, written and directed by Australia’s Spierig brothers, opens in Australia on February 4.