BO Report: ‘Wonder’ is quite wonderful as ‘Only the Brave’ and ‘The Star’ burn-out

04 December, 2017 by Don Groves


Director Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder is a sleeper hit in the US and could well emulate that feat in Australia after the feel-good film about a boy who overcomes a craniofacial disorder opened at No. 1 last weekend.


James Franco’s The Disaster Artist began brightly on six screens before rolling out wide on Thursday but two titles with festive themes, The Star and The Man Who Invented Christmas, came up short.

Critical acclaim in Australia and the US for Only the Brave – reflected in its 89 per cent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes – has not paid off for the action-adventure based on the true story about a group of firefighters in Arizona.

The top 20 titles rang up $11.1 million, down just 1.5 per cent on the previous weekend, according to Numero, in what will be a short-lived lull before the December 14 blast-off of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Released by Roadshow, Wonder fetched $2.4 million at 299 locations and $3.2 million with previews.  The Lionsgate drama based on R.J. Palacio’s novel, which stars Room’s Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, has earned $US88 million in 17 days in the US, shrewdly counter-programmed against Justice League. Aussie exhibitors expect it to surpass $10 million.

The Warner Bros/DC superhero adventure co-directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon ranked second, taking a tad over $2 million in its third outing at 302 cinemas, falling by 39 per cent. The film starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher ascended to $16.4 million in Oz and $US567.4 million worldwide, including $98.5 million in China.

Moviegoers clearly are enjoying Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 and recommending it to friends, judging by its $2 million second weekend haul at 296, slipping by 14 per cent.  The slapstick comedy directed by Sean Anders, starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson and John Lithgow, has scored nearly $7 million.

Word-of-mouth is also fuelling Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express remake, which took $1.3 million in its fourth weekend at 317, easing by 19 per cent. The murder-mystery directed by Kenneth Branagh advanced to $12.8 million.

Disney’s blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok reached $32.8 million after collecting $1 million in its sixth go-round at 252. The Marvel superhero adventure directed by Taika Waititi has amassed $816.4 million worldwide.

Writer-directors Jon Lucas’ raunchy comedy Bad Moms 2 climbed to $9.6 million after generating $330,000 in its fifth frame at 252 for Roadshow.

After a low-key debut Goodbye Christopher Robin, the biopic of Winnie the Pooh creator A. A. Milne starring Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie and Will Tilston fell by 30 per cent, taking $273,000 at 202 and just $1 million thus far for Fox.

Released by Studiocanal, Only the Brave did not catch fire, fetching $218,000 at 176 cinemas. That’s no surprise given Joseph Kosinski’s film starring Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Alex Russell flamed out in the US with $18 million.

Sony’s faith-based animated movie The Star, a retelling of the nativity of Jesus through the eyes of the animals gathered around the manger, directed by Timothy Reckart, brought in $290,000 at 110.

Director Bharat Nalluri’s The Man Who Invented Christmas, a comedy drama which chronicles the journey that led to Charles Dickens’ creation of  ‘A Christmas Carol,’ starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce, drummed up $178,000 at 190 and $214,000 with previews for Icon.

Warner Bros/New Line’s The Disaster Artist, which stars James Franco, his brother Dave and Seth Rogen in a comedy-drama about the making of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult film The Room, conjured up $82,000 on six screens and $226,000 with previews.

The latest premium VOD releases from Dendy/Icon, US crime thrillers Shot Caller and Sweet Virginia premiered as a double-header at Dendy Cinemas and then played in alternate sessions.

Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays a happy-married businessman who is sent to jail for DUI in writer-director Ric Roman Waugh’s Shot Caller, which took $3,800 on six screens.

Jon Bernthal plays a motel owner and former rodeo star in small town Alaska who befriends a young man (Christopher Abbott) with a propensity for violence in director Jamie M Dagg’s Sweet Virginia, which made $3,000 on five.