BO Report: ‘Mortal Engines’ bows but ‘The Grinch’ steals top spot

10 December, 2018 by Jackie Keast

‘Mortal Engines’. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Following on from middling reviews, Universal’s Mortal Engines, produced and co-written by Peter Jackson, couldn’t match The Grinch, Bohemian Rhapsody or Creed II at the Aussie box office last weekend.


Directed by Christian Rivers and based on the novel by Philip Reeve, the NZ-shot sci-fi starring Hera Hilmar and Hugo Weaving opened on $1.4 million from 327 screens. Due to release in the US this week, it totalled just $US18 million in 43 international markets over the weekend.

Illumination/Universal’s The Grinch stole the number one spot in Oz its second round, reaping $2.5 million from 323 screens – a fall of only 11 per cent. Co-directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, the animated Dr. Seuss adaptation features a voice cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely and Rashida Jones. In total, the film has amassed $7.4 million to date in Australia, $US223.5 million in North America and $US322.4 million internationally.

Overall, the top 20 titles took just $11.7 million last weekend, down 20 per cent, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA). However, this weekend should see the box office begin to heat up again in the lead up to Boxing Day with the release of Spider-man: Into the Spider Verse. 

Now in its sixth week, Bohemian Rhapsody continues to rock audiences, racking up $1.8 million. The Freddie Mercury biopic, which received two Golden Globe nominations last week – Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for Rami Malek –  has now made a whopping $35 million.

MGM/Warner Bros’ Creed sequel fell some 45 per cent to sit in third spot with takings of $1.6 million. Co-written and starring Sylvester Stallone, the film has made $5.5 million in total.

Now in its fourth orbit, WB’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald made $1.1 million, ascending its haul to $21 million.

Roadshow’s Second Act, which stars Jennifer Lopez as an assistant retail manager who takes on a corporate career after creating a fake resume, opened on $979,222 from 303 screens. With previews, the film directed by Peter Segal sits on $1.6 million.

Off the back of five Golden Globe nominations, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born took in $526,702 in its eighth round. The WB title now sits just shy of $31 million.

Paramount’s Overlord, a horror actioner directed by Julius Avery and produced by J. J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber, opened on just $350,498 from 180 screens.

Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms toppled 45 per cent to make just $301,322 in its third week, bringing its total to $2.3 million.

Rounding out the top 10 was Widows, which took home $232,328 in its third orbit for Fox, bringing its cume to $2.6 million.