Pre-Christmas clear-out in cinemas

02 December, 2013 by Don Groves

Given the packed schedule of movies in December/January, it’s not surprising that distributors unloaded a bunch of short-run films last weekend, including One Chance, Carrie, Magic Magic and Austenland.

Unsurprisingly, the dominant title was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which dropped by 46% in its second weekend, raking in $6.75 million, bringing its total to a lucrative $22.7 million.

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The only other title to gross more than $1 million was Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which rustled up $1.1 million in its third frame (off 36%), propelling its total to a juicy $7.85 million.

One Chance tells the true story of Paul Potts, the shy, bullied shop assistant and amateur opera singer who won Britain's Got Talent. Directed by The Devil Wears Prada’s David Frankel, the movie musical bombed in the UK but the Australian opening was a bit more respectable at $706,000, released on a very wide 263 screens.

Carrie, Kimberly Peirce’s remake of the horror movie based on the Stephen King novel, stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a shy girl who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom. Given mainstream Australian audiences generally avoid the genre, the $661,000 debut on 159 screens wasn’t terrible: better than the recent opening of Insidious: Chapter 2 but well below that of The Conjuring.

Psychological thriller Magic Magic, which stars Michael Cera as an attention-seeking American bully in Chile who gets mixed up with a fellow Yank (Juno Temple), an insomniac, and her cousin (Emily Browning), scraped up $3,600 on two screens.

Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s first foray into producing with Austenland came unstuck when the romantic comedy was yanked off screens in the US after taking $2.1 million. So the opening tally here of $12,000 on three screens was no shock, audiences evidently seeing no appeal in watching a Jane Austen tragic (Keri Russell) who winds up in a weird theme park based on Austen’s novels.

The art-house circuit was desolate. On My Way, which stars Catherine Deneuve as a widow who runs a family restaurant in a small Brittany town and discovers her lover has left her for a much younger woman, launched with a meagre $22,500 on 14 screens.

How I Live Now, a drama starring Saoirse Ronan as a teenager from New York who plans to spend the summer in the English countryside just as a world war erupts, fetched $18,000 on 16 screens.

White Lies, a New Zealand period drama about a healer and midwife who is asked to hide a secret which may protect one life but will destroy another, took $9,000 on six screens.

Fill the Void, an Israeli film about a young woman forced to choose between marrying the man she loves and the wishes of her devout, ultra-Orthodox Jewish family, made $7,000 at two cinemas, but with festival earnings its cume is $55,000.

After its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival, Warwick Thornton’s The Darkside opened at four cinemas in NSW and Queensland (other States will follow next year), taking $3,000.

All told, the 94 films in release grossed $12.1 million, 39% down on the previous weekend.

      WEEKEND BOX OFFICE Nov 28-Dec 1

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

2/578

$6,755,144

-46

$22,749,238

2

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

3/235

1,091,777

-36

7,857,594

3

Thor: The Dark World

5/480

862,106

-31

21,514,839

4

One Chance

1/263

706,639

NA

796,257

5

Carrie

1/159

661,351

NA

661,351

6

Captain Phillips

6/182

336,997

-27

8,939,297

7

The Butler

5/189

293,588

-30

4,261,754

8

Gravity

9/122

259,409

-16

20,184,185

9

Enough Said

3/88

231,567

-34

1,402,694

10

About Time

7/92

130,236

-37

8,288,324

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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