Damon Gameau.

Disney’s live action update of 1992 animated blockbuster Aladdin cast its spell over cinemas in Australia and worldwide last weekend while Damon Gameau’s feature documentary 2040 attracted appreciative audiences and is positioned for a long run.

Gameau’s journey, which explores what the world could look like by 2040 if the best solutions already available to improve the planet are adopted, raked in $198,000 on 92 screens, which brings the total including extensive previews and festival screenings to $321,000.

Takings on Sunday were up 5 per cent on Saturday, reversing the usual trend. The Palace circuit, which offered free tickets to students aged up to 18 on Saturday and Sunday, accounted for more than 30 per cent of total admissions.

The distributor, Madman Entertainment MD Paul Wiegard expects a first-week take of $400,000, telling IF: “The Sunday uptick is super encouraging, indicating the film is playing well with family audiences.

“We are very pleased with where the film has landed. We will be adding 25-30 screens in the regions in weeks three, four and five.”

The feature doc produced by Gameau and Good Thing Productions’ Nick Batzias, Anna Kaplan and Virginia Whitwell was the top title at Cinema Nova, where GM Kristian Connelly says: “Audience response to 2040 is very positive. With global warming so heavily linked to the recent election, it may take time for audiences to want to engage in it – particularly those still smarting from the poll’s outcome.”

Wallis Cinemas programming manager Sasha Close believes the film will benefit from word-of-mouth and have a respectable cinema run. “Awareness for this film is high,” she says. “I don’t see 2040 playing to the traditional model of a big opening; rather, business will be generated as WOM [word-of-mouth] and interest spreads. We have numerous requests coming in from school groups, which is extremely encouraging.”

The top 20 titles generated $17 million last weekend, up 17 per cent on the prior frame according to Numero.

Director Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin conjured up $7.6 million on 578 screens and nearly $8 million including sneaks. In the US the musical fantasy starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad and Billy Magnussen rang up an estimated $86.1 million in three days and $105 million over the Memorial Day weekend.

The studio estimated the global three-day opening at $207.1 million for the production which carries a reported budget of $183 million.

Studiocanal’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum dropped by a reasonable 32 per cent to $2.8 million in its second weekend, hoisting the total to $8.5 million – double the lifetime total of the second edition.

Directed by series regular Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane and Angelica Huston, the thriller has bagged $101 million in the US and $74.4 million in the rest of the world.

Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros’ live action-hybrid Pokémon Detective Pikachu climbed to $11.7 million after minting $1.7 million in its third outing. The Rob Letterman-directed fantasy/mystery, which stars Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton and Ken Watanabe, has pocketed $116.1 million in the US but is proving more potent in the rest of the world, delivering $236.8 million.

Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame grabbed $1.5 million in its fourth, propelling the total to $80.8 million. The superhero action adventure directed by the Russo brothers has amassed $2.677 billion worldwide, the second biggest title in history behind Avatar’s $2.788 billion.

Sony’s low budget ($6 million) superhero horror movie Brightburn entered in fifth place, drumming up $755,000 on 247 screens and $795,000 including sneaks. That’s right in line with the $7.3 million US debut for the movie directed by David Yarovesky and starring Elizabeth Banks.

Universal’s The Hustle fetched $724,000 in its third weekend, climbing to $5.6 million. Pro-rata, the Chris Addison-directed comedy starring Anna Hathaway and Wilson has outperformed the US’s $29.8 million.

Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding ascended to $4.4 million after scoring $325,000 in its fourth for Universal, heading for $5 million plus: a very sold result for any Oz title.

Zara Haynes’ cheer-leading comedy Poms is on its last legs, taking $202,000 in its third and nearly $2 million for Roadshow, no surprise given the meagre US total of $12.3 million.

Simerjit Singh’s Muklawa, a Punjabi romantic comedy set in the 1960s, which follows the tradition of a newlywed bride going to her husband’s home for the first time, starring Ammy Virk, Sonam Bajwa and Gurpreet Ghuggi, collected a nifty $174,000 on 25 screens for Eros.

Palace launched Marcelo Martinessi’s queer romance The Heiresses, Paraguay’s entry for the foreign language Oscar, on 20 screens, generating a decent $78,000 and $161,000 including festivals.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *