A week after netting Golden Globes for best drama and best dramatic actor, The Descendants has risen to the top of the Australian box office.

The Fox-distributed film, starring George Clooney, went from fourth to first place in its second weekend, raking in $2.4 million across 217 screens (up 5 per cent on last weekend). Posting an impressive screen average of just over $11,000, the film (including previews) has now taken $6 million in Australia.

The drama/comedy follows Matt King, who is an indifferent husband and father of two girls who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

At the Golden Globes held in the US last Sunday, hosted by UK comedian Ricky Gervais, the Alexander Payne-directed piece was also nominated in the Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director categories.

It held off stiff competition from Warner Bros. on the weekend with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island opening in second spot, grossing $1.9 million across 351 screens. The 3D action/adventure film, a sequel to the 2008 flick starring Brendan Fraser, follows Sean Anderson who partners with his mum’s boyfriend when on a mission to find his grandfather who is allegedly missing on a mythical island.

The film boasts an impressive cast, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens. It doesn’t open in the US until February 10.

Taking out third position is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows which grossed $1.9 million from 362 screens for Roadshow. This was down 43 per cent on last weekend’s takings ($3.3 million).

The Muppets (Disney, $1.7 million, 268 screens) and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sony, $1.4 million, 257 screens) rounded off the top five.

Happy Feet Two, directed by George Miller, made another $357,175 after four weeks. Down another 45 per cent, the film hasn’t lived up to expectations. It was shown on 218 screens and posted a modest $1638 screen average. It’s now grossed $9.9 million locally, while in the US, it has earnt $US62.2 million.

Among limited releases, Autoluminescent remains at local cinemas, taking another $4015 from just one screen. The Umbrella-distributed film, about the life of Rowland S. Howard, has now grossed $73,005.

The Women on the 6th Floor posted $121,315 across 25 screens for distributor Palace, the Met Opera: Faust grossed $84,557 across 26 screens for Sharmill, while Arrietty made $52,886 for Madman in its second weekend.

Australia is currently gearing up for local comedy A Few Best Men – from Priscilla director Stephan Elliott. The film had a positive response from exhibitors at last August’s Australian International Movie Convention on Queensland’s Gold Coast. It opens this Thursday.

Australian films at the local box office 2012

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