Surfing along on word-of-mouth, Simon Baker’s Breath maintained momentum in its second weekend, easily beating new releases Tully, Chappaquiddick and Crooked House.

Melissa McCarthy fans turned out in reasonable numbers for Life of the Party while Avengers: Infinity War continued to dominate the business.

Ray Argall’s feature documentary Midnight Oil 1984 opened well on limited sessions as an alternate content release via Madman Entertainment.

Meanwhile Paul Damien Williams’ Gurrumul, the bio on the late Indigenous musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, reached $502,000 after collecting $62,000 in its third weekend on 31 screens for Madman, off just 13 per cent.

The top 20 titles collectively harvested $12.6 million, down 22 per cent on the previous weekend, according to Numero.

Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War rocketed to $53.7 million after banking $5.3 million in its third outing. The blockbuster directed by Anthony and Joe Russo hauled in an estimated $US200 million in China last weekend as the international total ascended to $US1.06 billion, a record for the Marvel Comic Universe. The US total is an estimated $US548 million.

Warner Bros’ comedy Life of the Party, the third teaming between McCarthy and her writer-director husband Ben Falcone after Tammy and The Boss, entered in second spot, fetching nearly $2 million. That’s roughly in line with the estimated US debut of $US18.5 million.

Released by Roadshow, Breath raked in $727,000 on 242 screens, falling by 27 per cent. The coming-of-age drama adapted from the Tim Winton novel has generated $2.4 million, already the second-highest Australian grosser this year behind Peter Rabbit.

Breath is generating great word-of-mouth and holding particularly well in upmarket locations and several regionals sites,” Wallis Cinemas programming manager Sasha Close tells IF.

The drop-off at Cinema Nova was less than 10 per cent and general manager Kristian Connelly expects the film starring newcomers Samson Coulter and Ben Spence together with Baker, Elizabeth Debicki and Richard Roxburgh to play for many months.

Amy Schumer fans clearly are enjoying I Feel Pretty, which earned $664,000 in its fourth frame, off 35 per cent. The comedy/drama from writers-directors Abby Cohn and Marc Silverstein has scored $8.4 million for eOne, pro-rata well ahead of the US total of $US43.8 million.

Mike Newell’s WW2 romance/thriller The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has booked $4.9 million after collecting $560,000 in its fourth chapter for StudioCanal, slipping by a mere 17 per cent.

Showing remarkable legs, Paramount’s A Quiet Place advanced to $11.9 million after minting $410,000 in its sixth weekend. The near-silent horror movie directed by and co-starring John Krasinski is highly profitable for the studio with a global gross of $US270 million.

Director Jason Reitman’s dark comedy Tully follows Charlize Theron as a hard-pressed mother-of-three who bonds with her nanny played by Mackenzie Davis. The reviews were good but that did not translate into ticket sales, reflected in the $383,000 opening on 179 screens and $397,000 with previews for StudioCanal.

British mystery Crooked House seemingly had a lot going for it, based on an Agatha Christie novel and with a worthy cast headed by Max Irons, Terence Stamp, Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, and Stefanie Martini. All in vain, as the movie directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner made a miserly $225,000 on 199 screens for Roadshow.

Animal Logic Entertainment/Sony’s Peter Rabbit skipped along to $26.2 million after taking $186,000 in its eighth frame.

Midnight Oil 1984, which chronicles the year when Peter Garrett made his first foray into politics, campaigning by day and performing at night, whistled up $189,000 on 86 screens including previews.

Directed by John Curran, Chappaquiddick recounts the investigation into the 1969 drowning of Mary Joe Kopechne (Kate Mara) as Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) drove his car off a bridge into a lake.

Here is another case of a critically acclaimed drama which few people wanted to see, judging by the $148,000 debut on 75 screens and $159,000 with previews for the Transmission release.

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