3D animated penguin flick Happy Feet Two has danced from second to seventh place after two weeks at the local box office.

The feel-good family film, directed by George Miller, has now grossed $7.3 million since opening on Boxing Day alongside two Steven Spielberg blockbusters War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin. The Aussie animation also had to contend with other decent output such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Tower Heist and The Iron Lady.

The Roadshow-distributed film – again based on pudgy penguin Mumble and his dancing skills – opened on 465 screens, generating $2.2 million on its first weekend, however has slipped 43 per cent in its second weekend (earning just $1.3 million).

This is severely down on the first adventure film – in 2006 – which opened with an impressive $6.59 million across 401 screens (especially considering the new film is in 3D which is more expensive to attend). It went on to make $31 million at the Aussie box office and $US384 million worldwide.

The follow-up to the Oscar-winning film, with a reported budget of around $US135 million, has been plagued with mixed reviews in the US after opening in mid-November across 4061 screens. In North America the animated flick, featuring the voice talents of such actors as Elijah Wood and Robin Williams, has grossed $US61.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

The Hunter continues to screen in Tasmania where it was filmed, earning a further $1648 across just four screens. The visually-impressive film – starring Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill – has now grossed $1.1 million since opening on October 6. Other Australian films such as Red Dog and The Eye of the Storm have since finished their theatrical runs.

In other local box office news, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows – produced by Australia's Village Roadshow Pictures in partnership with Warner Bros. – opened at number one, raking in $6.4 million across 386 screens over the weekend, giving it an extremely healthy screen average of $16,674.

Alvin and The Chipmunks’ latest adventure, Chipwrecked, took in $3.6 million for Fox across 268 screens while Tintin made another $1.9 million from 448 screens (it's now made $10.9 million in total).

Tower Heist, a crime-comedy starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, managed to squeeze in between the two Spielberg films, grossing $1.43 million while Disney's War Horse, set in World War I, earned $1.41 million across 242 screens.

The Iron Lady, currently at number eight at the box office, is continuing its impressive run for distributor Icon, making a further $1.2 million in its second weekend (116 screens; $11,000 screen average). It’s now grossed $5.3 million after opening on 115 screens.

The film stars Oscar winners Meryl Streep as Lady Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher, and is directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!). It depicts the compelling story of Britain’s ex-Prime Minister, who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world.

Albert Nobbs, distributed by eOne/Hopscotch, has taken $403,958 after two weeks while psychological drama Melancholia, distributed by Madman, has grossed $444,431 after four weeks.

Australian films at the box office 2012

Source: IF Magazine, MPDAA

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