Controversial Australian feature Sleeping Beauty has grossed $70,204 in its opening weekend at the local box office.

The film, which stars Emily Browning as a young University student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of beauty and desire, was shown on just 12 screens giving it a screen average of $5850.

Sleeping Beauty had its world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year, where it was shown in competition.

Meanwhile, UK-Australian drama Oranges and Sunshine has now passed the $2 million mark after grossing another $366,281 in its third weekend at cinemas. The film was shown across 110 screens producing a screen average of $3330.

It is just the second Australian film to be shown on more than 100 screens this year – cave-diving thriller Sanctum was shown on 252 screens in January.

At the same time last year, five Australian films had already been shown on more than 100 local cinema screens: Bran Nue Dae (231), I Love You Too (228), The Kings of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2 (203), Beneath Hill 60 (164) and Daybreakers (135). However, in the first half of 2009, no local films had been shown on more than 100 screens.

A number of mainstream Australian releases are slated for the second half of the year: Red Dog (August 4), Killer Elite (September 23), The Cup (October 13) and Happy Feet 2 (December 26).

Among mainstream releases, Cars 2 opened in first spot after grossing almost $4.92 million. The sequel was shown across 502 screens producing a screen average of $9793.

Another animated feature, Kung Fu Panda 2, opened in second spot with $4.28 million across 448 screens.

The top five films at the box office was completed by Bridesmaids ($3.68 million), The Hangover Part II ($1.16 million) and Super 8 ($981,272).

Australian films at  the box office 2011

Source: MPDAA, IF Magazine

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  1. What’s controversial about it? Almost noone actually likes it. Most people think its a dog.
    Trite, pretentious, boring, up itself, undergraduate. Some people also don’t like its attitude.
    Great blog by another writer says its hard to know what it is, but not hard to know what its not,
    Check this from Susan Jonston:
    It is not brave or erotic or haunting or a dark fairytale. I was hoping for Belle du Jour or some suggestion of that peculiarly European vision of sexuality as something hidden, compelling, beautiful.

    While there are moments of beauty in the film (visual beauty I mean, in that some scenes are beautifully composed, like paintings). Its palette is dark, sombre, the opposite of sunshine, recasting the light of Sydney into the light of Europe.

    It’s a long time since I’ve seen such a laughably bad movie. I stayed in my seat because I couldn’t believe it was so bad, and in my Pollyanna way I was really sure it was going to redeem itself. When it ended I was spitting chips and demanded my money back .

    for another Aussie writer to want her money back, that’s bad. But at least she told the truth – not like the reviewers.
    This is a dud. Don’t waste your money

  2. I agree. It sucked but not figuratively! Totally chaste movie about fictional call girl service where old pervs pay big bucks to look at (!)….and not sleep with, spank or whip… 20 something hotties. Utterly contrived! Infected with a dull feminism like so many Australian films (i.e Book of Revelation anyone?). Has a few nice set pieces and observations. But totally unrealistic dialogue, characters and situations. A flop. A new art house Story of O would be great from Australia. I thought this might be it! I knew though unless it had some lame duck feminist angle it would not get funding from Screen Australia. Why? As it might actually explore real sexuality between men and women in some kind of a cool and hip way. Or examine issues of money, perversion and power in later day Western Capitalism, etc. But this film is artificial and says nothing! The burning of the 100$ note in the film reminded of the film industry in metaphor. How was that Film Vic Sandra Sdraulig 50 grand going away party recently? Obscene. I think funding bodies need to be accountable for bad decisions, over spending on parties and they need to open their books to exciting new film directors and producers and drop this ‘jobs for untalented pals’ agenda that has run this industry in to the ground. We have discussed issues like this at MUFF for nigh on 11 years and it’s time for a Paradigm Shift to save our national cinema. Best Regards Richard Wolstencroft MUFF Director

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