BO Report: Solid starts for ‘Creed’ sequel and ‘The Grinch’

03 December, 2018 by Don Groves

‘Creed II’ (Photo: Warner Bros).

MGM/Warner Bros’ Creed sequel and Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch understandably didn’t pack the punch of their stellar US debuts in Australian cinemas last weekend – but the former opened far better than the original and the latter is positioned to trade strongly as school holidays approach.


MKS Retail’s science-fiction thriller 2.0. attracted plenty of Bollywood fans but it will need to make a motza given the reported budget of ₹543 crore ($A106 million).

Among the limited releases, Palace’s Normandy Nude and Transmission’s Lean on Pete struggled and Universal’s zany comedy Sorry to Bother You resonated strongly on just four screens.

Louis Theroux admirers turned up for Sharmill Films’ alternate content release Love Without Limits at upscale venues such as Cinema Nova but in lesser numbers at other locations.

The top 20 titles harvested $14.8 million, virtually flat with the previous weekend, according to Numero. Directed by Steven Caple Jr and co-written by Sylvester Stallone, Creed II scored $3 million on 328 screens, which was good but not great compared with the five-day $55 million US launch over Thanksgiving, a holiday record for a live-action title.

However that was 75 per cent bigger than the original, which took $1.7 million in its first weekend and finished up with $6.8 million, so the sequel will easily surpass that. Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell says: “Creed II was never going to open pro rata with the US, being a boxing movie, but the opening was pretty solid.”

Co-directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, The Grinch devoured $2.7 million on 374 screens at the weekend but, with extensive previews, has banked $4.1 million. While that’s below the $67.8 million US debut, the comedy featuring a voice cast led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury, Kenan Thompson and Pharrell Williams beat the launches of Trolls and Rise of the Guardians and could well end up with as much as $18 million.

Wallis Cinemas consultant Bob Parr observes: “The Grinch opening was soft compared with the US but it did perform well on Saturday and Sunday.” It’s already a monster hit in the US, earning $203.5 million after its third weekend.

Fox’s blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody has passed another milestone, hauling in $539.5 million worldwide, with international’s $375.1 million dwarfing domestic’s $164.4 million. Here, the biopic starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury raked in $2.5 million in its fifth stanza, ascending to $32.3 million.

Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald bagged $2.1 million in its third, reaching $19.2 million. The David Yates-directed adventure fantasy scripted by J.K. Rowling has amassed $134.3 million in the US and $385.3 million in the rest of the world for a global total of $519.6 million.

Written and directed by Shankar and starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson, the Tamil-language 2.0. collared $940,000 on 56 screens, a per-screen average of nearly $17,000.

Warner Bros’ A Star is Born topped $30 million after making $818,000 in its seventh frame. Bradley Cooper’s musical drama co-starring Lady Gaga has rung up $193.8 million in the US and $362.4 million worldwide, a handsome return for a film which cost $36 million.

After a mediocre debut Otto Bathurst’s swashbuckler Robin Hood plunged by 53 per cent to $611,000, generating $2.3 million for Studiocanal. The Lionsgate release has earned $21.3 million after its third weekend in the US, a lousy result for the $100 million budget.

Director Steve McQueen’s Widows fetched $566,000 in its second weekend, off by 46 per cent, and $2.1 million for Fox. The thriller starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo and Jacki Weaver has pocketed $33 million after three weekends in the US, well below the studio’s expectations.

Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms drew $546,000 in its second weekend and $1.8 million thus far. With $51 million in the till after five weekends in the US and $80 million from the rest of the world, the fantasy adventure is the studio’s fourth bomb this year after Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Wrinkle in Time and Christopher Robin.

Word-of-mouth isn’t doing any favours for Richard Eyre’s The Children Act, which garnered $174,000 in its second weekend, tallying $735,000 for Roadshow.

French director Philippe Le Guay’s comedy Normandy Nude delivered a ho-hum $65,000 on 22 screens but including festival screenings and previews has clocked a sturdy $235,000.

Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, the tale of a boy’s search for belonging on the fringes of contemporary US society, which stars Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny, Travis Fimmel and Charlie Plummer, picked up just $24,000 on 38 screens including previews.

Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, which chronicles one man’s journey through the late-capitalist nightmare of an “alternate present” version of Oakland, California, nabbed $34,000 including sneaks.

Love Without Limits, Theroux’s investigation of the Portland, Oregon-based movement which practices open relationships, grossed $123,000 on 45 screens.

“Louis Theroux’s polyamory expose was openly embraced by audiences with several sold sessions at Cinema Nova,” says the cinema’s general manager Kristian Connelly. “Boots Riley’s urban comedy Sorry To Bother You opened strongly, ranking atop our new openers and promising to do solid business as schools finish up and people get into the spirit of the silly season.”