Aussie co-stars Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger helped propel the Terminator franchise reboot to the top spot in Australian cinemas last weekend.

Terminator: Genisys raked in $4.7 million from Thursday-Sunday and nearly $5.8 million including previews last Monday night and the opening day Wednesday.

Pro-rata, that’s way ahead of the US three-day debut of $29.2 million and $42.5 million for five days, where the Paramount release was beaten by the third weekend of Inside Out and the fourth of Jurassic World.

Directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World), the sci-fi action/adventure stars Clarke as John Connor, leader of the human resistance. He sends Seargeant Kyle Reese (Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future. Schwarzenegger plays an unlikely ally, the Guardian.

Arnie and Courtney’s visit to Sydney was part of the publicity blitz. True, the reboot did not open as strongly as Terminator Salvation, which fetched $6.5 million in 2009 but quickly flamed out, finishing with $14.9 million.

Australian B.O. receipts shot up by 12% to $21.8 million, according to Rentrak,  and business is so buoyant indications are this week will be the fourth in a row to clock more than $30 million.

In the battle of the animated blockbusters, Universal’s Minions rang up $4.6 million and advanced to $19.8 million while Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out ascended to $16.9 million after earning $4.4 million, both in their third frames.

Universal’s Jurassic World collected $3.5 million in its fourth weekend to reach $44.4 million and will soon surpass $50 million, a result almost no one expected.

However Universal’s Ted 2 isn’t living up to the pre-release hype, dropping by 46% to $2.3 million in its second caper, tallying $8.3 million. The sequel will do upwards of $10 million, not a bad result for an MA15-rated comedy.

As counter-programming to the popcorn fare, Fox’s Far From the Madding Crowd is resonating well. The adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel starring Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple and Tom Sturridge grossed $531,000 on 79 screens, easing by 13%, scoring $1.5 million in 11 days.

Amy Winehouse fans turned out for eOne's Amy, the documentary directed by Senna’s Asif Kapadia, which opened with an impressive $174,000 on 17 screens and $207,000 with previews.

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