Horrors The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and A Quiet Place Part II might have led the box office last weekend, but the national tally was far from scary – even despite the Melbourne lockdown.
Warner Bros’ Conjuring 3 was no. 1, bowing on $2.9 million from 321 screens. That marks the third highest opening for a film in the supernatural universe, which consists of eight films.
Based on the 1981 murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, the film sees Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as husband-and-wife paranormal investigators. Aussie James Wan produces with Peter Safran, with Michael Chaves directing from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who conceived the story with Wan.
The film’s result, which works out a whopping $8,998 per screen, is significant given cinemas in Melbourne were closed for the second weekend running.
Elsewhere in Victoria, cinemas were able to reopen with a cap of 25 per cent venue capacity, up to a maximum of 50 people.
All of Village Cinemas’ regional sites reopened for trade on Friday, with national film programming manager Geoff Chard telling IF: “Despite the incredibly onerous restrictions, we were still able to record some decent box office.”
“The Conjuring 3 was by far the number 1 title, with A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella basically level in spots two and three.”
“Obviously we’re all hoping the lockdown is not extended again, and that we’ll be back trading this Friday, in time for the public holiday long weekend.”
Similarly, Wallis Cinemas programming manager David Simpson reports it was able to reopen its Mildura site to sold out Conjuring 3 sessions.
The weekend’s other new major release, Roadshow’s comedy drama Breaking News in Yuba Country, didn’t fare so well, mustering just $68,879 nationally from 131 screens.
Overall the top 20 titles collected $7.4 million, up 14 per cent on last weekend, according to Numero.
Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell reflects there is more diversity in the market at the moment than there has been in some time.
“For the first time in a while we have something for everyone and some layering of major films, which augurs well for the coming long weekend with previews for In the Heights and Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard to come into the mix.”
Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Sydney had its busiest trading day since COVID began thanks to the premiere of local documentary Valerie Taylor: Playing With Sharks, which will release June 17 via Madman, as well as 70mm screenings of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
“In addition the regular film releases also did well with both Cruella and A Quiet Place holding well and The Courier and Nomadland increasing on the previous weekend, particularly impressive this long into their run,” GM Alex Temesvari tells IF.
A Quiet Place Part II fell 40 per cent to collect $1.9 million in its sophomore frame, moving to $7.8 million for Paramount.
Disney’s Emma Stone and Emma Thompson-starrer Cruella continues to perform despite being available on Disney+ via PVOD, making another $1.3 million in its second. The film, helmed by Aussies in director Craig Gillespie and writer Tony McNamara, now sits on $3.3 million.
After six weeks, Wrath of Man sits on $6.9 million for Studiocanal, having drawn another $276,362, while WB’s Those Who Wish Me Dead is on $6.9 million after four, having made $185,723.
Peter Rabbit 2, some 11 weeks in, is still drawing a young crowd, with the Sony film now on $21.2 million after collecting $141,830. As IF has reported, the film – a UK-Australian co-production – is the highest grossing local title of the year.
Similarly Studiocanal’s local comedy drama June Again continues to hold. It’s made $2.3 million after five weeks in release, having collected another $112,098.
Another title sticking around is WB’s Tom and Jerry, which after collecting $78,694 in its tenth, moves to $10.5 million.
Rounding out the top 10 was ABCG Films’ My Name Is Gulpilil, which garnered $44,531 in its second, a fall of just 2 per cent, to move to $219,704. Directed by Molly Reynolds, the film sees acting legend David Gulpilil tell his life story in his own words.