‘Storm Boy’ (Photo: Matt Nettheim).
Shawn Seet’s Coorong-set re-imagining of Henri Safran’s 1976 classic Storm Boy drew families and older folks last weekend, resonating particularly strongly in South Australia, as takings overall were flattened by the heatwave.
M. Night Shyamalan’s horror movie Glass was the top title, albeit opening below its US trajectory. Josie O’Rourke’s period drama Mary, Queen of Scots had a respectable debut while Joe Cornish’s action-fantasy The Kid Who Would be King tanked.
Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro, a biopic on Italy’s scandal-plagued former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, fared OK on limited release after earning tidy sums at festivals.
The top 20 titles collectively harvested $19 million, down 7 per cent on the previous weekend according to Numero.
The sequel to Split and follow-up to 2000’s Unbreakable, Glass yielded $3.3 million on 421 screens for Disney. Pro-rata, that trailed the estimated $40.5 million US debut for the film starring James McAvoy reprising his Split role as a guy who suffers from an extreme case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis. The projected 4-day tally in the US including the Martin Luther King Jr holiday is $47 million.
At that rate Glass will be hard pressed to catch the predecessor which grossed $12.4 million here for Universal two years ago. Wallis Cinemas consultant Bob Parr was perplexed by the variation in ticket sales, describing them as excellent at some sites and lousy at others where it was beaten by Instant Family.
Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World drew $2.16 million in its third frame, lifting the total to $17.1 million; if it maintains momentum it could get close to the second edition’s $26.7 million. The DreamWorks Animation title directed by Dean Deblois opens in the US on February 22.
Outperforming the US results, writer-director Sean Anders’ semi-autobiographical comedy Instant Family rang up $2.07 million in its second outing, climbing to $6.7 million. In the US the Paramount release starring Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro ended up earning $66.6 million.
Warner Bros’ blockbuster Aquaman raced along to $37 million after scoring $2.02 million in its fourth. James Wan’s superhero adventure starring Jason Momoa has amassed $1.06 billion worldwide.
Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns whistled up $1.6 million in its third and its total topped $15.3 million. Rob Marshall’s fantasy-adventure-musical has banked $158.7 million in the US and $306 million globally, far from the mammoth hit which the studio was expecting.
Starring Saoirse Ronan in the title role opposite Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots generated $1.2 million and $1.35 million on 256 screens including previews for Universal. That’s a solid start for the drama based on John Guy’s biography ‘My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots,’ considering it’s grossed $16.1 million after seven weeks in the US.
Based on the book by Colin Thiele and starring Geoffrey Rush, Finn Little, Jai Courtney, Trevor Jamieson and Morgana Davies, Storm Boy netted $1.6 million on 320 screens including more than $400,000 in previews for Sony Pictures Releasing.
“The marketing campaign was aggressive and most visible and brought a broad dual audience of families and the older ‘nostalgics,’” Sony executive VP Stephen Basil-Jones tells IF. “The reaction we had from extensive school program previews and paid sneaks has been phenomenal.
“We will see older adults come to the film from next week after schools go back and we should play deep into February.”
Word-of-mouth is excellent, according to Parr. Cinema Nova general manager Kristian Connelly said: “Storm Boy’s opening is generally on-target with expectations given the various unknowns associated with how much audiences were prepared to embrace the film in the face of a surplus of studio-produced commercial family fare already in the market.”
Fox’s unstoppable Bohemian Rhapsody vaulted to $49 million after collecting $1.1 million in its 12th stanza. The Queen biopic has raked in $596 million outside the US, the studio’s fifth highest grossing title of all time internationally, and $798 million globally.
Disney Animation Studios’ Ralph Breaks the Internet fetched $1.07 million in its fourth, advancing to $17.9 million. The family comedy co-directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston has pocketed $455.2 million worldwide: $193.2 million in the US and $262 million in the rest of the world.
The saga of a 12-year-old British boy who finds the mythical sword Excalibur and does battle with a medieval villain, The Kid Who Would be King rustled up an anaemic $629,000 on 225 screens for Fox. “It is a small title dropped into a good date relatively at the last minute; I thought it might have captured a bit more but it is fairly low profile and has lots of competition,” observes Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell.
Sorrentino’s Loro, which stars Toni Servillo as Berlusconi and Elena Sofia Ricci as his end-of-her-tether wife, took $53,000 on 17 screens and $251,000 including festivals for Palace.