Wasted On The Young posts disappointing numbers at local box office

The second Australian feature film shown at cinemas this year has posted a disappointing result in its opening weekend.

Western Australian film Wasted On The Young, written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Ben C. Lucas, made just $52,118 from 54 screens, giving it a low screen average of $965.

Despite positive reviews, this is a disappointing result for the Paramount film, which ramped up its television advertising campaign over the weekend being seen in primetime.

The film, shot by cinematographer Dan Freene on the Panavision Genesis, tells the story of a traumatic high school incident that sets off a fatal chain of events for two brothers.

Starring Oliver Ackland (The Proposition) and Adelaide Clemens (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the film has sold to overseas territories including the US, UK and Korea.

In other local box office news, Warner Bros’ latest flick Hall Pass rose to the number one spot, taking almost $2 million from 305 screens while Universal’s The Adjustment Bureau took $1.79 million from 242 screens.

Disney’s I Am Number Four had a 42 per cent drop on its opening weekend, but still made $1.3 million from 341 screens.

After netting the Best Picture Oscar last week, The King’s Speech continued to rake in Aussie dollars, taking a further $1.08 million from 239 screens – a 3 per cent increase on last week ($1.04 million).

The movie – through awards and word of mouth – has now made more than $27 million in Australia and an estimated $123.8 million in the US.

See the current edition of IF magazine for a full feature on Wasted On The Young.

Source: MPDAA

  1. Who are we trying to kid people. Did we expect anything else from “Wasted on the Young” or any other recently released low budget Aussie film, when there has been zero promotion in mainstream media. Australian domestic film will always suffer financially at the box office from a lack of promotion. Unfortunately we will never be able to educate the Australian audience about Australian film if we don’t tell them it’s there. I guarantee we will see more publicity about Australian Films low Box Office figures than we will see about the actual films. It disappoints me because I know this is a very good film and a large number of people have devoted a great deal of time & effort to the making of this film and Box Office figures should not be the gauge of their efforts.

  2. A film about teenagers is not my idea of a good movie outing! Love many Australian films but hear and see enough of teenagers on public transport to not then want to pay $17.00 to experience the lives of more!

  3. Until we start to look at the industry as a ‘Business’, we will continue to fail with our films.

    If a film carries with it a budget of say $5million, then we need to add at least 50% of that budget towards promotion and advertising.
    Ask anybody on the street what “Wasted on the young” is and they simply will-not-know.

    But crap like “I am number four” will outsell any Australian film because people are made aware of it!

  4. I would have to agree with the first and third comment. No advertising, no awareness, no campaigns, no nothing for this aussie film to be heard of. How do you expect to get great results at the box office! Why is it that distributors rely on the back end of making their return. If a film succeeds at the box office, it will likely do well on DVD, VOD, and likely to get alot more territories.

    But unfortunately the majority of aussies just do not understand the concept of exploiting and embellishing their own products when it comes to marketing it, like how the americans do. Is it a lack of belief in their film? or a lack of belief in their own people. If so, then make a film that will surely entertain us.

    We see suburban dramas every day in real life. Why do I want to go and watch it on screen. I want to be entertainied, suprised, excited, inspired. Do films that have that and you wil get numbers.

  5. I think we’re not giving Australian audiences enough credit. There was advertising, there was targeted promotion, their was a mountain of movie blogger support/coverage – the theme of the movie isn’t adventurous, it’s not entertaining. It’s beautifully shot but compelling to watch. Teenagers don’t want to have to think that hard when they go to the movies, they don’t want to be confronted with the hardest parts of their lives – they want to escape all that. Until we start writing/making “those” stories, we won’t get good results at the box office.

  6. To the second and fifth commentators, I would imagine that the film Wasted on the Young isn’t aimed at you anyway. And why bother commenting on something like that? Yes the failure of Australian films can be connected to poor writing, poor casting, little to no budget and terrible promotion and advertising but none of that is going to change the attitudes of narrow-minded Australians. Is it? We don’t have an industry because the Australian public continues to embrace it. And attitudes such as ‘if they made something I wanted to see, I’d go see it’ is a fools attitude. Aussie films are brilliant, the fact that they get made at all is an achievement and until Australians change their opinions, what you see is what you deserve.

  7. Yes I agree suzi
    Although a lot of oz films are great www still need to face the reality that oz films don’t do well at the box office and until australain film makers can understand and recognize that it is a business it will continue to suffer at the box office

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