Jason Statham and Josh Hartnett in 'Wrath of Man' (Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved)

With no new major releases, last weekend saw the lowest box office tally of the year so far.

The environment saw Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man, already four weeks in release via Studiocanal, top the box office with just $719,734, moving to $6 million.

Summing the weekend, Wallis Cinemas programming manager David Simpson tells IF: “When Honey I Shrunk the Kids is your number one film it feels surreal.”

The weekend also saw significant discounting from some exhibitors, including Palace Cinemas in Melbourne, Sydney and Byron Bay and the Lido, Classic, Cameo and the Ritz, which are offering $5 tickets until tomorrow.

Overall, the top 20 titles amassed a paltry $3.9 million, down 35 per cent on the previous, according to Numero.

Despite the quiet, many exhibitors are excited for this promise of this week’s Quiet Place Part II and Cruella, as well as a slew of other new releases scheduled for the coming weeks including The Conjuring 3 and F9, leading up to Black Widow in July.

Village Cinemas held advance screenings of A Quiet Place Part II over the weekend, and national programming manager Geoff Chard tells IF he believes the tide is about to turn for cinemas from this Thursday.

“From then on there’s a solid film releasing nearly every week for months. We obviously had the significant boost in box office in late March, mainly thanks to Godzilla vs. Kong and Peter Rabbit 2, but it feels like cinema is about to return!”

Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly agrees this weekend should provide a reset for the broader market with Cruella and A Quiet Place Part II, and potentially the end to discounting.

“These films, in addition to the COVID-delayed ninth Fast & Furious instalment releasing in June, promise to reignite audience interest – particularly when cinemas will be the only way audiences can see Fast & Furious 9 and A Quiet Place Part II,” he tells IF.

“Upscale theatres will have to wait longer for their deliverance, as key sophisticated titles will not release locally until they debut at international film festivals scheduled for July and later in 2021.”

Those Who Wish Me Dead, starring Angelina Jolie and Aussie Finn Little, rang up $698,735 in its second. Australia is proving the best performing international market for Warner Bros film so far, having made $2.3 million in total.

Also in its second, Spiral, the latest in the Saw franchise, stumbled 48 per cent with $373,291. The Chris Rock-starrer is now $1.4 million for Studiocanal.

Worldwide takings for Spiral have seen the franchise – created by Australians James Wan and Leigh Whannell and encompassing nine films – cross $US1 billion.

Despite being nine weeks in, Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2 is still drawing a crowd, earning $309,773, a dip of just 16 per cent. Overall, the Australian-UK co-production from Animal Logic Entertainment and Olive Bridge Entertainment has made $20.8 million – a figure that sees it surpass The Dry as the highest grossing Australian film of the year.

The animated film bowed in a post-lockdown UK over the weekend, where it made £3.8 million despite social distancing rules still in place in most venues.

Fellow Aussie title June Again, distributed by Studiocanal, is also holding well with audiences, bringing in $289,634 – a fall of just 29 per cent which sees it move to $1.8 million. The debut feature of JJ Winlove and produced by Ticket to Ride, the film stars Noni Hazlehurst, Claudia Karvan and Stephen Curry.

Adelaide-shot Mortal Kombat, from Aussie director Simon McQuoid, has now surpassed $9 million for WB after taking $255,110 in its fifth week.

WB stablemates Tom and Jerry and Godzilla vs Kong are also still bringing in some business, despite being in their eighth and ninth week respectively. The former is now on $10.3 million after further earnings of $190,316, and GVK $27.7 million after $148,872.

Remarkably, Disney’s Ray and the Last Dragon reentered the top 10 in its 12th week with earnings of $117,917, seeing it cross the $10 million mark.

Rounding out the top 10 was Kismet/Rialto YA rom-com Finding You, which made $112,491 in its second to advance to $343,757.

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