‘After We Collided.’

Five new mainstream titles entered the market last weekend – but none could beat the third frame of Warner Bros’ Tenet, which is benefiting from repeat business.

Product-starved exhibitors welcomed the influx and were pleasantly surprised by the turnout for Roadshow’s After We Collided but disappointed with Madman Entertainment’s Bill & Ted Face the Music.

A home entertainment release in the US, Paramount’s Paw Patrol: Jet to the Rescue drew a reasonable number of kids and families while fans of Korean boy band BTS flocked to Trafalgar Releasing’s Break the Silence: The Movie.

Released by Universal, Slim & I, Kriv Stenders’ biopic on country music star Joy McKean and her determination to be recognised as a performer and songwriter in her own right, resonated in regional locations.

Numero reported the top 20 titles generated $4.2 million, nearly 30 per cent up on the previous frame. “We have what I call layering – film upon film – starting to happen for the first time since re-opening,” Majestic Cinemas’ Kieren Dell tells IF.

“There is something for everyone now – action, kids and families, young women, the older audience – so the the key to good overall attendances is having diverse offerings. It just proves that if we have the right product, audiences are craving the cinema experience.”

Chris Nolan’s Tenet advanced to $7.8 million after adding $1.1 million on 610 screens, dropping by 32 per cent. In US dollars the spy thriller has amassed $207 million worldwide including $29.5 million in the US, where 74 per cent of screens are operating. The top international markets are China’s $50.8 million, France’s $13.2 million and Germany’s $11.4 million.

The sequel to 2019’s After, director Roger Kumble’s After We Collided, which follows Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin as star-crossed lovers Tessa Young and Hardin Scott as they contend with an intense breakup and its aftermath, mustered $922,000 on 192 screens and $1.1 million including previews.

Village Cinemas national programming manager Geoff Chard said: “After We Collided had a fantastic result, around $100,000 ahead of the previous film for its opening weekend despite Wednesday night previews and no Victorian box office. It should finish well ahead of its predecessor.”

The producers had already announced there will be a third and fourth movie based on Anna Todd’s novels, to be directed by Castille Landon, who helmed the Katherine Heigl-Harry Connick, Jr. drama Fear of Rain.

Universal’s Trolls World Tour continued to earn tidy sums in advance screenings ahead of this Thursday’s launch, drawing $379,000, which raises the total to $1.15 million.

Directed by Dean Parisot, Bill & Ted Face the Music sees the return of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves 19 years after Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. The comedy which follows the middle-aged dads as they still try to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny managed just $341,000 on 202 screens and $425,000 including sneaks.

‘Slim & I.’

Disney’s Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back 40th anniversary re-issue grossed $316,000 on 191 and was the top earner at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, where general manager Alex Temesvari was sorely disappointed with the Bill & Ted reboot, particularly given his location was No 1 nationally for the Fathers Day previews.

The latest Paw Patrol animated adventure, which follows the super pups as they try to thwart the Duke of Flappington after he steals a powerful levitation gem from the royal castle and uses it to raise Barkingburg into the clouds, drew $226,000 and $387,000 with advance screenings.

A behind-the-scenes look at BTS’ 2018–2019 Love Yourself World Tour directed by Park Jun-soo, Break the Silence whistled up $173,000 on 73 screens.

Chronicling one of one of the greatest partnerships in Australian music history, between country music legend Slim Dusty and his wife Joy McKean, Slim & I collected $103,000 on 117 including previews.

“It’s the right film for this time, full of heart and nostalgia with great live music from artists like Missy Higgins, Troy Cassar-Daley and Paul Kelly,” Chris Brown, who produced with Aline Jacques and Joy’s grandson James Arneman, tells IF.

“We expect it will have a substantial life on home entertainment with the power of Universal’s marketing machine.”

Majestic Cinema’s Dell says: “Slim & I was quite a hit for us – especially after we held the world premiere in Kempsey, Slim’s home town, a week ago. It was our biggest movie in a few sites and was very popular with the older generation in regional areas.”

Rialto struck out with Becky, a horror movie from directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion starring Lulu Wilson and Kevin James, which took $25,000 on 68 screens.

Sharmill Films launched Adam, the debut feature from Moroccan director Maryam Touzani about the unlikely friendship between a lonely widow and a woman who is unmarried and pregnant, on 14 screens, delivering $18,000 and $40,000 including film festivals.

Summing up the weekend, Wallis Cinema’s senior adviser Bob Parr said: “After We Collided was a pleasant surprise and Tenet held well. Bill & Ted wasn’t as good as we hoped. Slim & I was a little quiet at the weekend but I expect it will find its audience at mid-week day sessions.”

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