Three Academy Awards including best film and for supporting actor Mahershala Ali gave Green Book a sizable bounce in Australian cinemas last weekend while the best actor Oscar for Rami Malek has helped prolong Bohemian Rhapsody’s marathon run.
In other respects it was another bleak trading session as family adventure A Dog’s Way Home had a mediocre opening, well ahead of the other wide new releases, English heist caper King of Thieves and gory thriller Greta.
Flying the Nest, an animated family film which follows a young bird who sets off on a journey through a harsh and unrelenting winter in order to reunite with his true love, had minimal impact as an alternate content release.
Cinemas are marking time until the arrival this Thursday of Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel. The top 20 titles collectively generated $9.7 million, 6 per cent down on the previous weekend according to Numero.
Wallis Cinemas programming manager Sasha Close observed: “The new openers unfortunately failed to attract audiences. Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody benefited from awards attention and attracted some repeat business.”
Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel retained top spot in its third weekend, collaring $1.46 million. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the futuristic sci-fi adventure has bagged $9.4 million here, $72.2 million in the US and $350 million globally, led by China’s $112.1 million after its second weekend. That is well short of where it needs to get to for the studio to recoup the $US170 million budget and hefty marketing costs.
Based on a novel by W. Bruce Cameron and directed by Charles Martin Smith, A Dog’s Way Home fetched $1.27 million and $1.43 million for Sony Pictures including previews. The tale of Bella, a pitbull outlawed by the city of Denver’s regulations who becomes lost in the Colorado Rockies and must find her way back to her master Lucas (Jonah Haver-King), was supposed to be the first in a franchise based on Cameron’s books. That prospect looks dubious in light of the US tally of $41.2 million and $25.1 million from 32 international markets.
Peter Farrelly’s Green Book scored $1.2 million in its sixth weekend, jumping by 33 per cent, which brings the total to $10.5 million for eOne. The Australian performance of the true life race relations drama has over-indexed the US where it’s taken $75.9 million. The global total is $188 million, a handsome return for its $23 million production budget.
It’s probably fair to conclude neither men nor woman are greatly interested in Paramount’s What Women Want, which has mustered $4.9 million after taking $700,000 in its third weekend. The raunchy comedy directed by Adam Shankman featuring Taraji P. Henson and Aldis Hodge has collected a mediocre $49.6 million in the US.
James Marsh’s King of Thieves boasts a cast of British acting royalty in Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay and Ray Winstone plus Daredevil’s Charlie Cox. The comedic drama based on the 2015 robbery of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company earned a solid £6.07 million ($A11.3 million) in the UK last year. Here the Studiocanal release rustled up $649,000 and $756,000 including advance screenings. The distributor said the 4-day figure was on par with Seven Psychopaths and slightly behind Legend.
Focus Features forked out a reported $US4 million for the North American rights to Neil Jordan’s Greta after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. With hindsight that wasn’t such a smart idea as the thriller starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz scraped up up a dismal $4.6 million in the US and $512,000 on 195 screens here for Universal last weekend.
Jon S Baird’s Stan & Ollie, the charming biopic of comic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly, tumbled by 42 per cent to $435,000 in its second weekend, generating $1.6 million thus far for eOne. Arguably it was never going to match the UK result of £10.1 million ($A18.4 million).
Clint Eastwood’s The Mule is hanging in with $8.8 million after snaring $334,000 in its sixth lap for Warner Bros.
Sony’s Escape Room stands at $3.6 million after banking $313,000 in its fourth. The thriller directed by Adam Robitel has pocketed $56.2 million in the US and $69.3 million internationally – not bad for its $9 million production budget.
Bohemian Rhapsody is still making tidy sums although the Fox release is now available on VOD. The Freddy Mercury biopic whistled up $307,000 in its 18th outing, peaking at $54.1 million, and has amassed $214.6 million in the US and $868.7 million worldwide.
An Icelandic-Belgian co-production co-directed by Árni Ásgeirsson and Gunnar Karlsson, Flying the Nest drew $125,000 from limited sessions on 169 screens for Roadshow.
Rialto launched Gustav Möller’s The Guilty, which won this year’s Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Audience Award, on seven screens, making a modest $22,000. However the thriller, which centres on a cop (Jakob Cedergren) who gets a panicked phone call from a kidnapped woman, has taken a more respectable $85,000 including festival screenings and previews.