Australian action-thriller Killer Elite has had a disappointing opening in the US, grossing just $US9.5 million across almost 3000 screens.

The local film, which is one of the biggest Australian features to be shown in North America in recent years, posted a modest $US3,182 screen average, according to Box Office Mojo. It opened in fifth position at the box office, behind The Lion King 3D, Moneyball, Dolphin Tale and Abduction.

Financed by Omnilab Media, the $66 million Killer Elite – which stars big players Robert De Niro, Clive Owen and Jason Statham – reached a less-than-expected audience, despite its $25 million-plus print and advertising costs (paid by US distributor Open Road Films). It is set for a December 1 release in Australia, through Disney's Buena Vista International banner.

Meanwhile on local shores, Red Dog is about to sneak past The Man From Snowy River to become the ninth biggest Australian film ever. Red Dog is currently in 10th place, but is just under $2000 away from entering ninth position ($17,228,160), according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

After the weekend, which saw the film take $770,357 from 245 screens, Red Dog has now grossed $17,226,999 after eight weeks. Posting a screen average of $3144, its takings were 6 per cent down on last week ($817,699).

Fred Schepisi’s first Australian flick in 23 years, The Eye of the Storm, continued its strong performance at the box office, raking in $211,475 from just 18 screens, giving it an impressive screen average of $11,749 (which is up on its opening weekend average of $10,903). The film will open on 16 additional screens from this Thursday.

Face To Face, distributed by Australian Film Syndicate, posted $11,573 in its third weekend, from just nine screens. It’s now taken $72,364.

In other box office news, Oranges and Sunshine overtook Sanctum to be the second biggest film at the box office this year. The Australian/UK co-production has now grossed $3.85 million since opening in early-June.

3D kids film The Smurfs remained at number one on the weekend, grossing $2.6 million for Sony Pictures, while Johnny English: Reborn held second position, raking in just over $2 million. Abduction, in its opening weekend, made $1.3 million, while The Lion King’s return to the big screen earnt it $918,882 from 194 screens. Spy Kids: All The Time In The World, on 304 screens, took a disappointing $418,000 in its opening weekend.

For a full feature on The Eye of the Storm, pick up a copy of the August/September issue of IF Magazine.

Australian films at the box office 2011

 Opening w/e
 Opening w/e screen avg (screens)
 Box Office
Red Dog
$8.5m est.
$7365 (245)
Oranges and Sunshine
$6676 (102)
$6329 (252)
Mrs. Carey's Concert
Music Films
$6983 (9)
$2.5m est.
$10,567 (16)
The Eye of the Storm
$10,903 (18)
Mad Bastards
$3022 (27)
Sleeping Beauty
$5850 (12)
Big Mamma's Boy
$3230 (33)
Griff The Invisible
$3317 (20)
Wasted On The Young
$979 (54)
The Reef
$1616 (36)
A Heartbeat Away
$574 (77)
Face To Face
Aust Film Syndicate
$3002 (8)
Dealing With Destiny
Blue Pie
Pack Screen
$2466 (5)
Cane Toads: The Conquest
$376 (27)
Here I Am
$1665 (7)
$1722 (6)
Oakie's Outback Adventures
$1472 (2)

Source: IF, MPDAA, Transmission Films

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. About Red Dog’s achievement – this might be true in absolute numbers, but we lack the statistical info andn tools that Hollywood has – is the MPDAA able to tell us what the top 10 would look like, adjusted for inflation? I don’t think so!
    Priscilla or Snowy River’s $16m would be the equivalent of today’s what, $20, $25, $30m, perhaps more?
    It’s a shame that this year’s box office performance for Australian films is the worst in a while – only three titles have made more than $3m. The fact that the two that barely crossed the $1m (Snowtown, Mrs Carey’s Concert) will be considered successes is quite worrying.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.