The Dressmaker advanced to $15.2 million at Australian cinemas last weekend, propelling the total earnings of Australian films and feature documentaries released this year, plus holdovers, past $84 million.

Jocelyn Moorhouse’s dramedy fetched $896,000 in its fifth weekend, easing by a moderate 28 per cent, ranking at No 5 in the top 10.

The Universal release produced by Sue Maslin looks capable of reaching $17 million, which would take Oz films’ calendar year total past $86 million, in dollars way ahead of the previous high of $63.4 million in 2001.

Nationwide B.O. receipts are running about 11 per cent ahead of 2014, tallying $1.07 billion, and are fast closing in on the all-time record of 2010’s $1.128 billion.

Takings dropped by 19 per cent to $15.4 million last weekend, according to Rentrak’s estimates. After opening well below the last two editions, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 fell by 47 per cent to $5.2 million, amassing $17.8 million.

Spectre declined by 37 per cent to $3.4 million in its third outing, reaching $25.8 million. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens certain to take a lot of oxygen out of the market from December 17, the final Hunger Games could finish with $30 million and the 007 might get to $35 million.

Sony launched  3D animated fantasy-comedy Hotel Transylvania 2, raking in a fair $2.5 million including previews, to avoid competing with Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur (December 24) and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (Boxing Day).

Rocky fans turned out for Creed, the Ryan Coogler-directed film starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, which punched up $1.7 million on 189 screens .

Given both flopped in the US, the blah debuts of Love the Coopers and By the Sea were utterly predictable. The first combines the tired idea of a dysfunctional family gathering for a holiday meal with a cast headed by Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Marisa Tomei, Olivia Wilde and Jake Lacy. Almost no one cared, judging by the $396,000 gross on 164 screens.

The second film proves the world’s biggest stars can make serious misjudgments as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt failed to resonate as itinerant married artists who are going through a rough patch. Universal limited the damage by releasing the film on 52 screens, making $139,000.

The on-screen reunion of Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in romantic drama Tamasha paid off, generating $187,000 on only 22 screens for Mind Blowing Films.

Stephen Frears is a talented director but The Program, which stars Ben Foster as the drug cheat Lance Armstrong, crashed, taking $76,000 on 26 screens, including previews.


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