Drift sinks in Italy

Few Australian films secure a wide cinema release in Italy so the local distributor had a lot riding on Drift which went out on 165 screens last weekend.

Alas, the Australian 1970s-set surfing drama starring Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel and Sam Worthington was a near total wipe-out.

The film co-directed by Ben Nott and Morgan O’Neill grossed $US98,587 in three days for a scrawny per-screen average of $597, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks 74% of the total box-office.

Admittedly the Italian summer season typically means weak business at cinemas. The Wolverine was the top title in its third weekend, earning $550,000.

The Italian edition of Vogue gave the film a warm reception, hailing it as an enthralling story that "mixes passion, love and adventure, without falling into nostalgia,” filled with water scenes that are “ charming and breathless.”

James Wan’s The Conjuring opened last weekend, drawing just $117,000 on 205 screens, a rare blemish for the supernatural horror movie which has amassed a lucrative $168 million worldwide.

In the US, Wrekin Hill Entertainment launched Drift at 11 cinemas on August 1, a month after the title debuted on Video-on-Demand platforms.

To date the distributor has not disclosed any figures, which is unusual in a territory where the results for films that debut on only one screen are routinely reported.

  1. After reading this article by Don on Drift I was surprised by the result as I thoroughly enjoyed it earlier this year when released in Australia. The cinematography was spectacular and the performances were brilliant. After having a look on Box Office Mojo I find it hard to believe this film as sunk by any means.

    Firstly it was the 7th highest grossing film in the country pulling in $98,587 under Wolverine’s $550,237. Now if you transfer this to Wolverine’s opening in the US of $55million Drift’s equivalent would be a taking of $10million at the box office. Purely numerically this seems odd to call Drift a failure based on these numbers.

    Identity Thief starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy had it’s opening weekend also and came in 10th place earning $62,310. This is a studio film with a budget 3 times the size of Drift. The Internship starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson which has been out for 2 weeks has made a total of $84,710. This is a studio film with a budget 6 times the size of Drift and this Aussie surf film has beaten it on its opening weekend.

    Lastly, taking into account that Italy doesn’t have a large surfing culture. It doesn’t have Australia’s famous Bells Beach or the stunning West Australian coastline where Drift was shot. So for Italy to embrace it seems to me like an incredible success. I would maybe consider changing the title of this article to “Italy rides the Drift wave!”

  2. It has a rotten tomatoes rating of 28%. Reportedly cost 11 million and has taken what? Under 2 million? The internship is over 70 million. Australians would rather go see a terrible American comedy film than an Australian surf film. Sad but surfing is niche and so is going to Australian films. I think Australian films need to try to play broad for a while. The number of people prepared to watch them is shrinking

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