Kylie Minogue and Michael Hutchence in ‘Mystify: Michael Hutchence.’
Takings at Australian cinemas jumped last weekend thanks to the school holidays, Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4, while Richard Lowenstein’s Michael Hutchence documentary proved to be effective counter-programming.
Roadshow’s US romantic drama After opened reasonably well considering its meagre US results and Palace’s Argentinian rom-com An Unexpected Love appealed to upscale audiences.
The top 20 titles garnered $25.7 million, up 34 per cent on the previous frame, according to Numero.
Spider-Man: Far From Home captured $10.4 million in the first four days and $17.4 million since its launch last Monday. So the Jon Watts-directed sequel will surpass Spider-Man: Homecoming, which ended up with $25.6 million in 2017.
The superhero adventure starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Aussies Remy Hii and Angourie Rice has generated $580 million worldwide in just 10 days.
The 6-day domestic debut of $185 million broke the industry record for an Independence Day launch, beating Sony’s Spider-Man 2, which clocked $180 million in 2004. The international total is $395 million, with China’s $167.4 million as the standout.
Released by Madman Entertainment, Mystify: Michael Hutchence rang up $369,000 on 114 screens and $486,000 including previews and festival screenings, ranked at No. 10.
“We’re very pleased with the level of media engagement and sense of urgency to experience the film on the big screen,” Madman MD Paul Wiegard tells IF. “Consensus across critics has been super positive. The film has been playing on limited sessions so many sessions have been full, providing a real sense of an event.”
Maya Gnyp, Passion Pictures’ John Battsek, Sue Murray, Mark Fennessy, Andrew de Groot, Lowenstein and Lynn-Maree Milburn produced the intimate portrait of the INXS frontman, his lovers, friends and family.
Directed by Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4 scored $5.3 million in its third chapter, easing by just 18 per cent, propelling the total to $25.2 million. The comedy voiced by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Tony Hale, Annie Potts, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Keanu Reeves has hauled in $306.6 million in the US and $343.4 million in the rest of the world.
Danny Boyle’s fantasy romantic comedy musical Yesterday cruised to $7.1 million after nabbing $2.3 million in its second frame, down 32 per cent, for Universal, outperforming the US’s $36.9 million and, pro rata, the UK’s $US7.1 million.
Universal/Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 raced along to $11.1 million after drawing $1.9 million in its third outing, surging by 24 per cent. The animated adventure comedy directed by Chris Renaud and co-directed by Jonathan del Val has earned a mediocre $140.7 million in the US and $262.5 million worldwide.
New Line/Warner Bros’ Annabelle Comes Home dropped by 40 per cent to $1.1 million in its second frame, advancing to $3.7 million. That was a better hold than in the US where the horror movie directed by Gary Dauberman plunged by 52 per cent, taking $50.1 million in 12 days.
Disney’s Aladdin has conjured up $921.7 million worldwide, with international’s $600.9 million eclipsing domestic’s $320.8 million. Here, the Guy Ritchie-directed musical fantasy has mustered $32.3 million after banking $863,000 in its seventh outing.
Based on Anna Todd’s 2014 young adult novel of the same name and directed by Jenny Gage, After collected $856,000 on 172 screens and $974,000 including previews. That compares well with the US where the saga starring Josephine Langford as a college student who begins a turbulent relationship with a “bad boy” played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin opened in April and finished with $12.1 million.
“Roadshow took a risk releasing After on the back of poor US numbers but with a good marketing spend behind it targeting the key audience, the film is off to a reasonable start,” says Wallis Cinemas programming manager Sasha Close.
Paramount’s crowd-pleaser Rocketman danced along to $18.7 million after fetching $556,000 in its sixth, outshining the US’s $89.1 million. The Dexter Fletcher-directed biopic has whistled up $173.8 million globally.
Sony’s under-achiever Sony’s Men in Black: International pocketed $505,000 in its fourth to reach $9.2 million. The F. Gary Gray-directed sci-fi comedy has taken a dismal $72 million in the US and $244.4 million worldwide.
Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s dark comedy Parasite, which won the Sydney Film Festival’s top $60,000 prize and the Palme D’or in Cannes, drummed up $215,000 in its second weekend on 46 screens and $774,000 to date for Madman.
Directed by Juna Vera and starring Ricardo Darín and Mercedes Morán as a long-married couple who start to question the true meaning of love and desire after becoming empty-nesters, An Unexpected Love wooed $91,000 on 19 screens and $187,000 with festivals and advance screenings.
Summing up the weekend, Cinema Nova GM Kristian Connelly tells IF: “Audiences returned in force to Cinema Nova thanks to four titles with strong appeal. Nova soared to the top position on both the opening weekend of Richard Lowenstein’s Mystify and the second weekend of Parasite, which increased by 3 per cent over the prior frame.
“Yesterday and Toy Story 4 also performed strongly thanks to strong word of mouth and school holiday trade respectively. An Unexpected Love had a respectable opening and should leg out as audiences get around to it after taking in the aforementioned hits.”