BO Report: ‘Flatliners’ remake is D.O.A. while ‘Battle of the Sexes’ double faults

03 October, 2017 by Don Groves

If a studio contemplates remaking a classic or cult movie of decades ago, by and large the reboot has to be superior and more compelling than the original.

That truism evidently did not occur to the top brass at Columbia Pictures when they greenlit a reboot of Flatliners, Joel Schumacher’s 1990 horror movie which starred Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and Billy Baldwin.


The new version directed by The Girl With the Drago Tattoo’s Niels Arden Oplev corpsed in Australia, the US and 20 other markets last weekend.

In Oz it wasn’t a good weekend for the other debutantes either, including Fox’s Battle of the Sexes and Palace’s The Dancer, apart from Hindi action-comedy Judwaa 2.

Umbrella gave a limited release to  Kriv Stenders’ The Go-Betweens: Right Here ahead of the telecast of a 60-minute version on ABC TV next month and an accelerated home entertainment roll-out. Among other Aussie titles, Jen Peedom’s Mountain made $102,000 in its second weekend on 30 screens, bringing the estimated total to $1.75 million including the 13 live Australian Chamber Orchestra performers.

Jeffrey Walker’s Ali’s Wedding surpassed $1 million in its fifth weekend on 33 and Rhiannon Bannenberg’s tween movie Rip Tide reached $261,000 in its third on 72.

The top 20 titles rang up $14.6 million from Thursday through Sunday, slipping by 4 per cent despite the school holidays, and $18.3 million when including the Monday public holiday, according to Numero.

Easily retaining pole position, Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle captured $4.4 million in its second outing at 286 cinemas, including Monday. Matthew Vaughn’s action/adventure/comedy starring Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and Mark Strong has amassed $12.9 million down under and $US193 million worldwide.

Still the first choice for kids, Sony’s animated sci-fi-comedy The Emoji Movie collared $2.7 million in its third frame at 307 locations, propelling its total to $9.6 million.

Fox’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, David Soren’s CGI adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s children’s books ranked third, generating $2 million on 309. The DreamWorks Animation voiced by Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms and Jordan Peele has roped in $6.1 million in 12 days.

Warner Bros/New Line blockbuster It scared up $1.7 million in its fourth sojourn at 282. The horror/thriller directed by Andy Muschietti has raked in $21.5 million in Australia and a record $555.6 million globally.

After a lousy opening Warner Animation Group’s The LEGO Ninjago Movie did get a modest boost from the school holidays, improving by 16 per cent to $1.4 million at 306.

Co-directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan, the martial arts action/comedy has grossed $3.3 million in 12 days, by far the lowest result in the three-pic franchise.

The Flatliners reboot stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons and Kiefer Sutherland as a the physician supervisor of the five medical students who embark on after-death adventures.

An appealing cast, but the movie derided by the critics as dull, generic and utterly unnecessary fetched $1.4 million in five days on 215 in Australia and $6.7 million in the US.

One of the few marketable titles targeted at adults, Stephen Frears’ Victoria and Abdul topped $6 million after earning $1.1 million in its third weekend at 267 for Universal.

Co-directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), Battle of the Sexes garnered some good reviews, hailed by The Financial Review’s John McDonald as an immaculate time capsule of the early 1970s which also speaks to contemporary issues such as homophobia, equal rights for women and the sponsorship of sporting events by tobacco companies.

However the dramedy loosely based on the true story of the 1973 exhibition tennis match between women’s singles champion Billie Jean King and former champ Bobby Riggs, starring Emma Stone, Steve Carell and Aussie Jessica McNamee as Margaret Court, scored just $985,000 at 244 and $1.1 million with previews.

American Assassin, the CIA thriller directed by Michael Cuesta, based on Vince Flynn’s pulp novels and starring Michael Keaton, Dylan O’Brien, Sanaa Lathan and Taylor Kitsch, looks like shooting itself in the foot. The Roadshow release pocketed $345,000 in its third on 174, to reach $2.8 million.

Director David Dhawan’s Judwaa 2, a remake of his 1997 hit Judwaa, which stars his son Varun Dhawan as twins together with Jacqueline Fernandez and Taapsee Pannu, rang up a terrific $243,000 in five days on 22 screens for Mind Blowing Films.

French director Stéphanie Di Giusto’s The Dancer, a biopic about turn-of-the 20th Century dancer Loie Fuller (Soko) and her relationship with Isadora Duncan (Lily-Rose Depp), misstepped, taking $43,000 in five days on 16 screens. However the total including festival screenings is a more respectable $229,000.