Five Aus films predicted to break $US20m

By Brendan Swift

Five upcoming Australian films are predicted to gross more than $US20 million each at the US box office.

The forecasts are derived from the Hollywood Stock Exchange – an artificial money market owned by Cantor Fitzgerald which allows speculators to trade ‘movie stocks’ and ‘star bonds’ using imaginary dollars.

Several studies have underlined the accuracy of the HSX within certain limitations (see the August issue of INSIDEFILM for more about predicting box office returns).

Happy Feet 2 is predicted to be the biggest Australian film, taking well over $US100 million. The original remains the all-time biggest local film at the US box office after grossing almost $US200 million in 2006.

Despite a delay in filming, Dr George Miller’s next Mad Max installment, Fury Road, is predicted to be the next biggest film with more than $US70 million.

However, local favourites such as Mao’s Last Dancer and Bran Nue Dae – the biggest local hits in 2009 and 2010 respectively – are predicted to take less than $US2 million apiece.

The burgeoning list (see table below) also shows the influence of Omnilab Media, with five of the top seven films by predicted revenue backed by the local conglomerate. Dr George Miller’s Dr D Studios were launched in partnership with Omnilab.

The company’s biggest hit to date is the Jason Statham action-thriller The Bank Job, which took just under half of its $US64.8 million box office gross (or $US30.1 million) in the US.

The Killer Elite, which also stars Statham alongside Clive Owen and Robert de Niro, is predicted to make a similar amount in the US with $35.64 million.

HSX’s US box office predictions for Aus films

Predicted 4-week box office ($USm)
Production House
US release date
Happy Feet 2
Dr D Studios
Nov 18, 2011
Mad Max 4: Fury Road
Dr D Studios
In development
Legend of the Guardians
Animal Logic
Sept 24, 2010
The Killer Elite
Omnilab Media
Sanctum 3D
Sanctum Australia
Feb 4, 2011
Tomorrow When the War Began
Omnilab Media
The Power of the Dark Crystal
Omnilab Media
The King’s Speech
See Saw Films
Nov 24, 2010
Animal Kingdom
Porchlight Films
Aug 13, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer
Last Dancer
Aug 20, 2010
Bran Nue Dae
Robyn Kershaw Productions
Sept 10, 2010
I Am You (aka In Her Skin)
Liberty Films International

Source: Hollywood Stock Exchange, August 11, 2010.