Elisabeth Moss (center, foreground) as Cecilia Kass in "The Invisible Man," written and directed by Leigh Whannell.

‘The Invisible Man’ (Photo credit: Universal Pictures).

Given that they appeal to very different audiences, the first-day ticket sales for The Invisible Man and Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears in Australia were very healthy.

Leigh Whannell’s Sydney-shot edge-of-the-seat thriller opened bigger yesterday, although the murder-mystery/adventure/romance staring Essie Davis and Nathan Page had already earned a hefty sum from paid prevews.

Produced by Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum and Goalpost Pictures’ Kylie du Fresne, The Invisible Man grossed $375,000 on 315 screens for Universal, tracking just below A Quiet Place’s first day.

Roadshow launched Every Cloud Productions’ movie directed by Tony Tilse on 376 screens, raking in $180,000 and $389,000 including advance screenings, outperforming the Universal release in some regional locations.

Both are set to generate very good business over the weekend, particularly as Miss Fisher’s more mature fans aren’t the type to rush out to see movies on day one.

“We were very happy with both results, with the opening day coming in around our estimates and setting both films up for a successful run,” Village Cinemas national programming manager Geoff Chard tells IF. “The lifetime multiples for both films will be strong with excellent word-of-mouth expected for both.”

Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly thinks Miss Fisher’s opening weekend will be around that of Ride Like A Girl’s $1.68 million, which ended up with a lifetime total of $11.7 million.

In the US, pundits predict Whannell’s movie – which has a 91 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is the only major new release – will deliver about $30 million, while the studio is forecasting a more conservative $20 million. It could well be the No. 1 title internationally as it rolls out in 39 markets including the UK and Mexico.

Wherever it lands, the film starring Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman and Benedict Hardie will be very profitable, given the net production budget which Variety listed as just $US7 million, with the Producer Offset.

At regional circuit Majestic Cinemas, Essie Davis’ movie opened 25 per cent bigger than the thriller. CEO Kieren Dell expects Miss Fisher to have longer legs and a longer season, observing: “The older demographic usually take their time to see these films, often coming Monday-to-Wednesday.

“Horror movies tend to have more upfront business over the first weekend and the good reviews and Elizabeth Moss will draw out a younger crowd, but for us I would expect the 25 per cent out-performance to stand over the seasons and possibly even increase.”

Hugo Johnstone-Burt and Ashleigh Cummings in ‘Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears.’

Moss plays Cecilia Kass, a San Francisco Bay Area architect who flees from her violently abusive and controlling husband Adrian (Jackson-Cohen) one stormy night.

Celia takes refuge with her sister Emily (Dyer) and later with her longtime friend and cop James (Hodge) and his teenage daughter Sydney (Reid).

After Adrian is officially declared dead — by apparent suicide — his surviving brother Tom (Dorman) informs Cecilia that she’s been left $5 million in the will.

Produced by Fiona Eagger and scripted by Deb Cox, the 1929-set movie follows Davis’ Phryne Fisher as she frees young Bedouin girl Shirin Abbas (2016 VCA graduate Isabella Yella), who had been unjustly imprisoned in Jerusalem.

The stylish sleuth then begins to unravel a WW1 mystery involving a priceless jewel, ancient curses and the disappearance of Shirin’s tribe. Phyrne’s search takes her to London where she stays with Lord and Lady Lofthouse (Daniel Lapaine, Jacqueline McKenzie) and Lofthouse’s younger brother Jonathon (Rupert Penry-Jones).

The movie will screen in about a dozen US cities including the Alamo Drafthouse chain – which is hosting a live discussion for its film club members – before it premieres on streaming platform Acorn TV on March 23.

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