Clooney pic rocked by earthquake

01 June, 2015 by Don Groves

The combination of George Clooney, a dual Oscar-winning director and an astronomical budget hasn’t paid off for Tomorrowland, least of all in Australia where Disney’s mystery-adventure was shaken by San Andreas last weekend.

In other B.O. news, global receipts for Mad Max: Fury Road climbed to $US281 million after its third weekend, including an estimated $116 million in the US and $165 million in the rest of the world.


Ariel Kleiman’s debut feature Partisan had a quiet opening in Oz on 14 screens, despite an extensive social media campaign orchestrated by Madman Entertainment.

Directed by Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), disaster pic San Andreas seized the top spot in Australia, grabbing $3.2 million. Pro-rata, that was well below the weekend US opening of $US54.6 million, perhaps because Dwayne Johnson is a bigger drawcard at home than here.

Johnson plays a search and rescue helicopter pilot who is joined by his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) as they make their way from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario) after a 9+ earthquake.

Shot partly in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the Village Roadshow Pictures/New Line co-production spent more than $36 million in the State and created 1,874 local jobs, according to Screen Queensland.

George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road raked in $2.5 million, dropping by a reasonable 40%, to propel its takings to $16.3 million, and will probably reach $20 million.

Good word of mouth ensured a buoyant second weekend for Fox's action-comedy Spy, which collected $2.4 million (off 33%), to hoist its tally to $7.2 million.

Females keep turning out for Universal's Pitch Perfect 2 which whistled its way to a lucrative $24.9 million after pocketing $1.8 million in its fourth stanza.

Entering at No 5, Tomorrowland fetched just $1.6 million on 241 screens, a lousy return for a production with a reported budget of $190 million from director Brad Bird, who won Oscars for Ratatouille and The Incredibles.

Co-scripted by Damon Lindelof, one of the creators of Lost, the film stars Clooney as a jaded guy who teams up with a bright, optimistic teen (Britt Robertson) as they embark on a dangerous mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space known only as Tomorrowland.

The Australian debut failed to match the US opening of $33 million during the Memorial Day  weekend, but over there it didn't go head-to-head with San Andreas.           

Kleiman’s Partisan is set in an unnamed, decaying urban environment and follows Alexander (newcomer Jeremy Chabriel), a playful, curious and naïve kid who has been raised as a trained assassin to see the world through the eyes of his father Gregori (Vincent Cassel).

Produced by Warp Films Australia’s Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw, the drama got generally enthusiastic reviews at its world premiere at Sundance but Aussie critics were not as kind. The weekend take was $41,000 on 14 screens.

Among other limited releases, Gemma Bovery, French director Anne Fontaine’s re-imagining of Flaubert’s literary classic Madame Bovary, starring Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng and Fabrice Luchini, lucked out with $49,000 on 22 screens, but it's banked $144,000 including festival screenings.

According to Rentrak, nationwide weekend takings slipped by 5% to $14.7 million.