Hobbits, Disney toon and Ben Stiller draw crowds

30 December, 2013 by Don Groves

There is something for everyone in Australian cinemas, judging by last weekend's $33.7 million haul as all the mainstream Boxing Day openers plus the Anchorman sequel drew sizable audiences.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug led the field, conjuring up $14.4 million from 264 locations. That trumped The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which debuted with $12 million one year ago and wound up earning $42.9 million.


Frozen, the Disney animated tale based on a Hans Christian Anderson story, was a hot item for kids and families, ringing up $6 million from 273 screens. Including previews, the toon co-directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee has whistled up $7.5 million.

Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty hauled in $3.28 million on 252 screens, a robust opening for the comedy starring Stiller as a fantasising day-dreamer who embarks on a real-life adventure.

Good word of mouth sustained Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which drew $3.19 million in its second weekend, down 39%, lifting its total to $10.1 million.

American Hustle, David O. Russell’s 1970s-set comedy-drama about an FBI sting, went up by 10% in its third outing, pocketing $1.6 million at the weekend and $6.8 million to date.

Stephen Frears’ Philomena, a drama starring Judi Dench as an Irish woman who set out to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption 50 years earlier, snared a terrific $1.59 million on 118 screens, and $1.8 million with previews.

Jonathan Teplitzy’s The Railway Man captured fine $1.2 million on 114 screens, the second best debut for an Australian film this year behind The Great Gatsby


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is hanging in, nabbing $1.08 million in its sixth frame, elevating the cumulative earnings to nearly $36 million.

The fourth weekend of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 yielded $852,000, raising its cume to a juicy $8.7 million.

Rounding out the top 10, Bollywood action-adventure Dhoom 3 grossed $328,000 in its second outing, boosting the total to $1.48 million.

Short Term 12, first-time director Destin Daniel Cretton’s drama starring Brie Larson as a foster care worker, took a modest $9,700 at just two cinemas.