As predicted, Roadshow’s The Dry has crossed the $20 million mark.
This means the Robert Connolly film, based on Jane Harper’s best selling novel, is now the 14th highest grossing Australian film of all time, surpassing titles such as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding and The Dish (not adjusting for inflation).
And the mystery drama is likely to still have life in it, with star and producer Eric Bana doing a set of Q&As screenings this week.
“The astounding success of The Dry confirms what Roadshow has always known, that there will always be an appetite for quality Australian productions which can without a doubt rival their Hollywood counterparts at the box office,” said Roadshow Films CEO Joel Pearlman.
“We will continue working with local industry and our partners in exhibition to deliver these crowd favourites to the big screen.”
Now 12 weeks in release, the Made Up Stories production, notched up another $225,643 over the weekend, taking it to just shy of $20.2 million.
Overall the top 20 titles made $5.1 million, almost exactly in line with the previous weekend, according to Numero.
Titles such as Nomadland, Minari and Promising Young Woman all had uplift thanks to the Academy Awards nominations, and exhibitors are eager for the new life that Peter Rabbit 2 and Godzilla vs. Kong should breathe into the box office later this week.
For Village Cinemas, the weekend’s top titles were Raya and the Last Dragon, Chaos Walking and The Little Things, the latter of which is doing well in Gold Class.
“Crisis was the highest-grossing title out of the new films, followed by the Chinese title Hi, Mom and the Hindi film Mumbai Saga. We saw a nice uptick in box office for films like Nomadland and Promising Young Woman, off the back of the Oscar nominations,” national film programming manager Geoff Chard tells IF.
“We’re obviously eagerly anticipating the release of Peter Rabbit 2 and Godzilla vs. Kong this weekend, with strong advance sales for both titles across our circuit.”
On the weekend, Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly observes: “Another solid weekend of box office rebuilding this past weekend with a bounce seen for Oscar nominees Minari and Judas and the Black Messiah, strong holds for Promising Young Woman and Another Round and a dip for Nomadland due to the film’s screen expansion.
“French Exit enjoyed a strong opening despite being overlooked by the Academy and an advance screenings of The Father sold out. With several attractive new films entering the market this Thursday, plus advance screenings of The Father, we anticipate the coming week to continue the positive trend.
“However, the uncertainty regarding JobKeeper is a genuine concern given we still have a very long way to go before we see a return to pre-pandemic trade.”
For the third weekend running, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon was no. 1 nationally, with takings up 3 per cent on last week at $1.5 million.
Overall, the animation, with voice work by Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina, sits on $5 million, a decent result given that the film was simultaneously released on Disney+ via PVOD for $35.
No. 2 was once again Roadshow sci-fi Chaos Walking, which brought in $595,159 in its third frame to advance to $3.1 million.
Disney’s Nomadland received a huge box office boost after scoring six Oscar nods, ringing up $385,441, a 55 per cent increase on the previous. The Chloe Zhao drama, starring Frances McDormand, now sits on $2.3 million after three weeks.
Just behind was Universal Pictures’ opioid epidemic drama Crisis, opening on $370,154 from 262 screens.
Directed by Nicholas Jarecki (Arbitrage), the film starring Gary Oldman, Evangeline Lily and Armie Hammer follows three stories: an trafficking operation; an architect recovering from addiction, looking for her missing son, and a university professor who finds out about a “non-addictive” painkiller coming to market.
WB’s The Little Things continues to hold a crowd, earning $364,041 in its fifth frame, taking the crime drama to $5.3 million. Australia is currently the best performing international market for the film, which stars Denzel Washington, Remi Malek and Jared Leto.
In limited release, Chinese comedy Hi, Mom, released via Little Monster Entertainment, bowed on $249,494 from 39 screens. The film boasts the highest screen average of the week at $6,397.
In China, the film has made RMB 5.32 billion, or $US818 million, which makes it the second highest grossing non-English film of all time, behind Wolf Warrior 2.
Sony’s French Exit, directed by Azazel Jacobs, opened on $217,139 from 57 screens; an average of $3,809. Michelle Pfiffer stars as widowed New York socialite, who moves with her aimless son (Lucas Hedges) to Paris after she spends the last of her husband’s inheritance. With previews, it’s on $262,258.
French Exit was the second best performing title at Sydney’s Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, behind Nomadland.
“Expecting a good hold due to the film’s appeal to an older demographic that may not rush out to see it opening weekend,” GM Alex Temesvari tells IF.
The film also performed well for South Australia’s Wallis Cinemas’, with programming manager David Simpson telling IF: “C’est toujours le bon moment for a film like French Exit. Delighted with the results.”
Anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train, now four weeks in, earned $184,806, a fall of 41 per cent, to advance to $3.6 million.
Rounding out the top 10 was stablemate Minari, which also earned a boost after the film scored six Oscar nods, with takings of $135,163, a 13 per cent increase on the previous. That result saw the Lee Isaac Chung film cross the $1 million mark after five weeks.
Madman doco Girls Can’t Surf fell 27 per cent in its second weekend, earning $76,036, and now sits on $471,244 overall.