Rob Sitch’s latest feature film Any Questions For Ben? has posted a modest opening at the local box office. The romantic comedy, starring Josh Lawson and Rachael Taylor, grossed $608,731 for Roadshow on 235 screens, giving it a screen average of $2590.

To put it in perspective, Stephan Elliott’s A Few Best Men grossed almost the same – $539,230 – in its third weekend on 237 screens.

It’d be a disappointing result for the team at Working Dog Productions, best known for such feature films as The Castle and The Dish. Australian favourite The Castle took in $764,378 on just 83 screens when it opened in 1997, while The Dish raked in just under $3 million across 281 screens in 2000 in its opening weekend. (They both went on to make $10.3 million and almost $18 million respectively.)

Sitch, who sat in the director's chair, co-wrote the film with Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner. The comedy follows Ben (Lawson) who suffers a quarter-life crisis after being asked to speak at his school’s career night.

Controversial UK film Shame – the latest from Australian producer Emile Sherman – had a decent opening over the weekend, grossing $170,450 for Paramount/Transmission. Shown on 29 screens, it had a screen average of almost $6000. The film is rated R and isn’t able to be marketed in Australian cinemas.

Romantic drama The Vow, distributed by Sony Pictures, mirrored its US weekend, opening at number one in Australia. The film, which stars Sydneysider Sam Neill, raked in $2.8 million across 209 screens, while Safe House grossed $2.7 million on 234 screens for Universal.

Thirteen years after it first opened, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace was back in cinemas – this time in 3D. The prequel, distributed by Fox, opened at number three, grossing another $1.6 million for the Lucas empire. When it first opened in 1999, it raked in just over $9.1 million in its first weekend.

Sci-fi flick Chronicle (Fox, $1.5 million, 192 screens) and Golden Globe-winning film The Descendants (Fox, $785,038, 228 screens) both took out fourth and fifth positions at the box office over the weekend.

Silent film The Artist, which has been the talk of the town over the past few weeks, continued its strong run in its second weekend. The film grossed $319,503 across 39 screens.

Films opening this week include: This Means War (Fox), Buck (Madman), My Week With Marilyn (Roadshow), The Grey (Icon) and One For The Money (Roadshow).

Australian films at the box office 2012

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