Judgment day for Downey, Duvall

12 October, 2014 by Don Groves

The verdict is in from audiences in Australia and US on The Judge, the father-son dramedy starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, and it’s not favourable.

The mish-mash of courtroom drama, thriller, romance and comedy fetched $1 million in Oz last weekend, a distant fourth behind the second outings of Gone Girl, Annabelle and Dracula Untold.

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In the US the $50 million movie from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, written and directed by (David Dobkin (The Change-Up, Wedding Crashers), took an estimated $US13.2 million, less than half Gone Girl’s second weekend.

Downey plays a glib, smart-ass lawyer who returns to his hometown for his mother's funeral only to discover that his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder.

That’s not an auspicious debut from Team Downey, the production shingle founded by the actor and his wife Susan Downey.

The end of school vacation resulted in nationwide takings plunging by 34% to $11.8 million, according to Rentrak’s estimates.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike continued to draw crowds in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which eased by just 13% to $4.1 million, scoring $11.4 million in 11 days.

Annabelle fell by 35% to $1.2 million, grossing nearly $4 million thus far, while Dracula Untold plummeted by 45% to $1.1 million, taking its total to $3.9 million.

Young girls turned out en masse for One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film, which was recorded at Milan's San Siro stadium, ringing up $334,000 on 94 screens.

The Tale of Studio Ghibli Showcase, a selection of recent and classic films from Japanese animation maestros Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, drew a fair $37,000 at five screens.

The other new limited releases struggled. Flirting in the Air, a Cantonese sex comedy about two womanizing airline pilots who fall through a wormhole which takes them back to the Ming Dynasty, took $21,000 on 10 screens.

Kevin Smith’s horror/comedy Tusk scared up $17,000 at five locations and $24,000 with previews. Siddharth, Richie Meta’s drama about one man’s journey across India in search of his 12-year-old son, collected $17,000 on 19 despite glowing reviews.

Josh Lawson's The Little Death pocketed $27,000 in its third weekend, off 45%, bringing the cume to $225,000.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE October 9-12

Title                       Week/ Screens  Box Office    % +-    Total

1 Gone Girl                 2/410 $4,102,975 -13            $11,469,190
2 Annabelle                2/167 1,245,581 -35                  3,963,650
3 Dracula Untold       2/219 1,091,957 -45                  3,870,394
4 The Judge               1/283 1,030,281 NA                   1,039,430
5 The Maze Runner   4/275 1,002,792 -50                14,564,602
6 The Equalizer          3/271 657,771 -45                      5,743,076
7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 5/237 501,584 -62 17,289,457
8 The Boxtrolls           4/242 388,915 -68                       6,265,371
9 One Direction: Where We Are   1/94 333,910 NA       333,910
10 Planes: Fire and Rescue  4/217 267,547 -69       5,055,723

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

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