By Brendan Swift

Australian animated feature Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole has posted a less-than-expected $US16.34 million opening weekend at the US box office.

The film was expected to gross $US18-20 million according to reports although its performance already ranks the film as Australia's twentieth best performer of all time in the US.

The film, an adaptation of the fantasy book written by American author Kathryn Lasky, was released across 3575 screens, resulting in a screen average of $US4569, according to Box Office Mojo.

The highest grossing film over the weekend was Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ($US19 million) while Ben Affleck's The Town was ranked third after grossing $US16 million in its second weekend.

Three other Australian films are also currently being shown in US cinemas: Mao's Last Dancer, Animal Kingdom and Bran Nue Dae.

At the Australian box office, Tomorrow, When the War Began passed the $10 million mark, taking more than $833,000 (a drop of one-third) in its fourth weekend. The film was shown across 261 screens for a screen average of $3192.

Only 21other Australian films have taken more than $10 million at the local box office.

Australasian films at the box office 2010

Film
 Budget
 Distributor
 Opening w/e
 Box Office
Tomorrow …
$27m est.
Paramount
$3,862,193
$10,453,243
Bran Nue Dae
$6.5m
Roadshow
$1,612,102
$7,637,358
Animal Kingdom
$5m est.
Madman
$604,139
$4,879,642
Beneath Hill 60
$9.5m
Paramount/Transmission
$548,694
$3,209,471
Daybreakers
$20m est.
Hoyts
$1,064,244
$2,448,050
I Love You Too
$6m
Roadshow
$113,483
$2,361,411
Bright Star
$16.7m est.
Roadshow/Hopscotch
$2,157,601
Boy
Paramount/Transmission
$275,026
$1,386,766
Matching Jack
$5m est.
Fox
$258,011
$807,621
The Waiting City
$2m est.
Hopscotch
$136,892
$675,476
South Solitary
$6.5m
Icon
$132,240
$605,920
Accidents Happen
$6.5m est.
Hopscotch
$39,721
$157,131
Love, Lust & Lies
Beyond Entertainment
$20,674
$136,595
Second Hand Wedding
Potential/Arkles
$13,680
$79,967
Lou
Kojo Pictures
$27,371
$59,505
Girl Clock!
$1m
Self-distributed
$8,857
$43,434
Separation City
$4.8m
Hoyts
$15,278
$32,159
Triangle
$8m est.
Icon
$6,081
$11,282
Going Vertical
The Pack/Blue Sea Films
$3,879
$9,699
Savages Crossing
$3.5m
MediaKin/GAP
$4,432
$8,651
The Nothing Men
Anchor Bay Films
$4,518
$6,679
Playing For Charlie
$1.2m
The Pack
$2,665
$5,867
The Horseman
$500,000
Umbrella Entertainment
$2,270
$3,328
The Tumbler
The Pack
$203
$358

 Source: MPDAA, INSIDEFILM. Separation City, Second Hand Wedding and Boy are NZ films. Bright Star released Dec 26, 2009; tally does not include 2009 box office.

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