‘The Invisible Man’

Last weekend was the worst of the year for Australian cinemas as Universal’s The Invisible Man and Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog were the only titles to crack $1 million.

Still, who can blame people for shunning cinemas given virtually all the new releases had either flopped in the US or were niche titles that earned modest sums?

Among the misfires were Warner Bros’ The Way Back, Disney/Searchlight Films’ Downhill, Mind Blowing Films’ Bollywood action thriller Baaghi 3 and Roadshow’s The Big Trip.

Universal’s Dark Waters and Umbrella Entertainment’s feature doc Honeyland had mediocre debuts.

The top 20 titles generated $8.8 million, down 13 per cent on the previous frame which had ranked as the lowest of the year, according to Numero.

Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man raked in nearly $2.2 million in its second frame, easing by a mere 13 per cent. The psychological thriller starring Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer and Michael Dorman has pocketed $5.5 million here, an estimated $52.7 million after 10 days in the US and $45.6 million internationally.

So the Sydney-shot film budgeted at $US7 million net with the Producer Offset will be a highly profitable release for Universal and the producers, Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum and Goalpost Pictures’ Kylie du Fresne.

The live action/CGI adaptation of the Sega videogame Sonic the Hedgehog raced on to $10.8 million after mustering $1.3 million in its fourth outing. The feature debut of director Jeff Fowler, the adventure comedy has clocked an impressive $148.8 million in the US and $154.8 million in the rest of the world.

Tony Tilse’s Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears rang up $639,000 in its second weekend for Roadshow, dropping by 39 per cent. That brings the total for the murder mystery/romance/adventure starring Essie Davis and Nathan Page to a fair $2.3 million.

Warner Bros/DC Comics’ Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn advanced to $10.5 million after adding $413,000 in its fifth. The Cathy Yan-directed superhero movie has collected a lousy $82.5 million in the US and a more respectable $113.2 million internationally.

The Walt Disney Co./20th Century Studios’ dud The Call of the Wild fetched $365,000 in its third, delivering $2.1 million here and $57.5 million in the US.

Ben Affleck plays a former high school basketball star who is struggling with alcoholism when he’s offered a coaching job at his alma mater in The Way Back.

The concept didn’t appeal to moviegoers in the US – where the Gavin O’Connor-directed drama netted an estimated $8.5 million last weekend – or in Oz, taking $311,000 on 129 screens.

Universal’s consistent money maker 1917 marched on to $22.7 million after adding $294,000 in its ninth. Sam Mendes’ WW1 epic has amassed $364.8 million globally.



‘Downhill.’

Cast against type and paired with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell plays a needy, selfish guy who deserts his family when an avalanche engulfs their Austrian ski resort in Downhill, which was inspired by Ruben Östlund’s far superior 2014 pic Force Majeure.

Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who co-scripted The Descendants, and featuring Miranda Otto as a painfully unfunny chalet worker, the comedy-drama managed just $294,000 on 236 screens and $310,000 including previews. That’s no surprise in light of the feeble US gross of $8.2 million since Valentine’s Day.

Universal/Working Title’s Emma directed by Autumn de Wilde earned $294,000 in its fourth, bringing the total to $3.6 million.

Those four historic Academy Awards continue to give Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite a second wind as the black comedy scored $285,000 in week 37 and $5.7 million for Madman Entertainment.

Todd Haynes’ legal thriller Dark Waters opened in the US last November and finished with a meagre $11.1 million. In Oz the distributor launched the film, which stars Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway, on 59 screens, yielding $237,000.

Directed by Ahmed Khan and starring Tiger Shroff as a muscleman who sets out to rescue his elder brother (Riteish Deshmukh) after he’s kidnapped by a terrorist group in Syria, Baaghi 3 nabbed $237,000 on 64 screens.

The Big Trip, an animated comedy/adventure about a goofy stork who mistakenly delivers a baby panda to the wrong door, directed by Vasiliy Rovenskiy, drew $143,000 on 175 screens.

The winner of the best documentary prize at Sundance last year, Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s Honeyland, which follows a woman in a remote section of North Macedonia who cultivates honey from wild bees and tends to her old, infirm mother, took $70,000 on 24 screens and $113,000 with festival screenings.

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