Aussie Finn Little in 'Those Who Wish Me Dead'.

Warner Bros.’ Those Who Wish Me Dead was declared DOA as it opened in the US over the weekend, but Australian audiences took to the neo-Western, with the film topping the box office.

Directed by Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water), the film is co-led by young Aussie talent Finn Little (Storm Boy, 2067), who plays a teenager who witnesses the murder of his father and goes on the run with a smokejumper (Angelina Jolie) through the wilderness in order to escape a pair of assassins (Nicholas Hoult and Aiden Gillen) hired to silence him.

WB opened the film on 249 screens, grossing $1.2 million. In the US, where it premiered simultaneously on HBO Max, it garnered just $US2.8 million.

While Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell regards the weekend past as “one of the slowest of the year”, Those Who Wish Me Dead was a strong performer across his sites in regional NSW and Queensland.

“[It] seemingly appealed to a broad audience despite the MA rating and violence.”

However, the film didn’t fire for Sydney’s Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, which GM Alex Temesvari regards as a “real shame”.

“It’s such a fun throwback thriller with a top notch cast. While it has come in #1 nationally for the weekend, I don’t think audience awareness was as high as it should have been for such a strong title.”

Those Who Wish Me Dead bowed 36 per cent ahead of the weekend’s other major opener, Studiocanal’s Chris Rock-starrer Spiral, the ninth film in the Saw franchise.

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, the film premiered on just $717,598 from 317 screens.

“Unfortunately Spiral was a bust for us, with the R-rating not helping,” Dell says.

“Horror films are not generally big for us, although I remember the early Saw movies doing reasonable business.”

The horror follows police efforts to stop a Jigsaw copycat killer, with Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols starring alongside Rock, who reportedly pitched the film to the head of Lionsgate after meeting him at a wedding.

James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the Australian creatives behind the franchise, are the EPs with Rock.

On just 74 screens, Indian Hindi-language actioner Radhe, directed by Prabhu Deva and starring Salman Khan, bowed to $346,846. That gives the title the highest screen average of the weekend at $4,687.

The other key new release was Kismet/Rialto’s YA romance movie Finding You, directed by Brian Baugh and starring Katherine McNamara and Jedidiah Goodacre. It collected $161,549 from 193.

The top 20 titles amassed just shy of $6 million, according to Numero – 14 per cent up on the previous.

Chris Rock in ‘Spiral’.

Studiocanal’s Wrath of Man continues to hold, dropping only 22 per cent in its third to amass $978,451. The Guy Ritchie film, starring Jason Statham, now sits on $5.1 million.

Four weeks in, WB’s Mortal Kombat fell 42 per cent with earnings of $447,838, taking the cume of the Adelaide-shot film to $8.7 million.

In fifth place nationally was local drama June Again, from Studiocanal. Starring Noni Hazlehurst, Claudia Karvan and Stephen Curry, the film dipped 27 per cent in its second with $410,155, moving to $1.3 million.

The film remained no. 1 at a number of Dell’s sites. “It especially appealed to our older demographic who love Australian films and Noni, Claudia et al.”

Australian-UK co-production Peter Rabbit 2 scored a 5 per cent boost in its eighth to earn $369,949, moving the Sony title to $20.4 million. The animated sequel, from Animal Logic Entertainment and Olive Bridge Entertainment, bowed in several international markets over the weekend, earning $US3.1 million. It opens in the UK today.

WB’s Tom and Jerry was also up in its seventh weekend with takings of $230,065, seeing the hybrid animation, starring Aussie Pallavi Sharda, advance to $10.1 million.

Now eight weeks in, Godzilla vs. Kong sits on $27.5 million for WB after ringing up $210,729. It is highest performing film in Australia since the pandemic began.

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