Hopscotch managing director Troy Lum says The Sapphires has the potential to reach $15-20 million at the local box office.

The Australian comedy has already grossed $5.6 million since its release on August 9 and is poised to become the biggest local film of the year.

However, Lum said if exhibitors could take a “leap of faith”, and keep it on screens for another six weeks when school holidays begin, the film could ultimately gross $15-20 million.

The Sapphires is set in the late-60s about a quartet of singers (Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell) from a remote Aboriginal mission, who are discovered and guided by soul-loving manager (Chris O'Dowd).

Lum, speaking to an audience of exhibitors at the Australian International Movie Convention, said The Sapphires soundtrack is currently at number one on the ARIA music charts – the first soundtrack to reach that position since Mamma Mia! in 2008 and the first number one Australian film soundtrack since Moulin Rouge! in 2001.

Hopscotch is continuing to support The Sapphires with substantial marketing, including TV advertising. This week, Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman joined arts minister Simon Crean and Indigenous employment and economic development minister Julie Collins to launch a $1.1 million training program aimed at creating jobs for Indigenous Australians.

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

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