Rusty answers exhibitors’ prayers

31 March, 2014 by Don Groves

The prolonged Australian box-office drought is over, thanks to Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical epic Noah and animated comedy Mr Peabody & Sherman.

Audiences turned out en masse for the tale starring Russell Crowe as the man chosen by God to save the innocent so the evil and corrupt will perish as a cataclysmic flood covers the Earth.

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Noah raked in $4.5 million to easily win the weekend, the  biggest non-holiday opening for 2014 and Paramount’s biggest for the year to-date. That's in line with the impressive US debut of $US43.7 million, the biggest debut ever for Crowe in the US.

DreamWorks Animation’s Mr Peabody & Sherman, a comedy about a genius beagle who roams the world in his time machine with an orphan infant he’s adopted, fetched $2.4 million in its first four days. Including $1.3 million in previews from the prior weekend which Fox did not report, that brings the total to $3.77 million.

Those two titles boosted the overall B.O. by 27% to $12 million, delighting exhibitors who are expecting another surge from the launches this Thursday of The LEGO Movie and Disney’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The Monuments Men is hanging in, earning $1.2 million in its third frame, off 31%, propelling its tally to nearly $6.9 million. Buddy cop comedy Ride Along dropped by 34% to $613,000, scoring a moderate $1.8 million in 11 days.

John Curran's Tracks is losing screens and sessions in its fourth weekend, making $120,000, which brings its earnings to $2.06 million.

The Raid 2, Gareth Evans’ actioner about a Jakarta cop who goes undercover in jail to befriend the son of a mob boss, kicked off with a mediocre $70,000 at 19 screens. That’s well below the first Raid which launched on 42 screens in 2012 and wound up with $302,000.

Despite all the hype and notoriety over the explicit sex in Nymphomania, Lars von Trier’s four-hour drama caused few ripples as it bowed in 10 cinemas, making $41,000.

Half of a Yellow Sun, a Nigerian-set romantic drama about twin sisters, which stars 12 Years a Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor, got great reviews and copious publicity but that wasn’t reflected in the modest $34,000 debut on 24 screens.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE March 27-30

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Noah

1/387

$4,522,634

NA

$4,522,634

2

Mr Peabody & Sherman

1/508

2,437,999

NA

3,778,343

3

The Monuments Men

3/341

1,191,693

-31

6,871,911

4

Ride Along

2/135

613,004

-34

 1,808,600

5

Need for Speed

3/240

589,753

-38

3,759,226

6

300: Rise of an Empire

4/297

 442,371

-52

8,163,686

7

Pompeii

2/174

291,885

-54

1,187,867

8

Non-Stop

5/115

271,883

-31

5,540,401

9

Cuban Fury

2/179

159,609

-49

688,222

10

The Wolf of Wall Street

10/44

159,367

-29

23,168,716

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Graeme Bond

    The Noah success is not unexpected. The Bible has always been a seedbed of inspiration for writers of every genre. The book of psalms covers every known human emotion and condition. Jonah is the perfect template of the classic 3-act structure. And it has been said that the book of Luke is the most beautiful book ever written.
    All story-telling has its roots in the old book and we are all the richer for reading it. Faith opens the mind, not closes it. Of the 37 known plots for screenwriters, they are all found in the old book. Australian audience know a good thing when they see it. Noah delivers.
    Graeme Bond, Birdsong Press. WA