Local comedy The Sapphires has become the highest grossing Australian film at the box office this year.

The Hopscotch-distributed film has now grossed $8.41 million, just passing the $8.23 million posted by Happy Feet Two in 2012. (While Happy Feet Two grossed $10.69 million in total, part of that tally was attributed to 2011 because the film was released on December 26.)

The Sapphires, set during the Vietnam War when four talented singers from an Aboriginal mission in Victoria were discovered by an unlikely talent scout, was shown across 279 screens in its third week at cinemas, grossing $2.01 million. That figure represented a 27 per cent drop on the previous week although its screen average remained solid at $7226.

At the recent Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast, Hopscotch managing director Troy Lum said the film could reach $15-20 million at the box office if it continued to be supported by exhibitors over the next several weeks.

Meanwhile, two Australian documentaries continue to perform well at cinemas. Storm Surfers 3D: The Movie grossed another $133,318 on 10 screens to reach $231,490 in total. I Am Eleven took another $15,391 to reach $241,026.

Contact this reporter at bswift@www.if.com.au or on Twitter at @bcswift.

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