Newsflash: Ron Burgundy is No. 1

23 December, 2013 by Don Groves

Will Ferrell’s tireless efforts to promote Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues have paid off handsomely as the comedy he co-wrote with director Adam McKay dominated the Australian box-office last weekend.

Ferrell’s turn as clueless anchorman Ron Burgundy, co-starring Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Aussie Josh Lawson, raked in $5.2 million in four days, plus $360,000 in Wednesday night previews.


That eclipses the original, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which wound up earning a modest $2.28 million in Oz in 2004.

Pro-rata, the Australian launch is much bigger than in the US where Paramount’s comedy took $US26.2 million in the first three days and $39.4 million in five days.

Ferrell cut a lot of promos specifically for the UK, where the sequel opened with an estimated £4.5 million ( $8.2 million) and Oz, the overseas markets which were most receptive to the original.

Down Under, the weekend B.O. jumped by 43% to $12.8 million, helped by a lusty opening for Bollywood action adventure Dhoom 3. Opening on Friday, the film starring Abhishek Bachchan as Assistant Police Commissioner Jai Dixit and Aamir Khan as Sahir Iqbal, a revenge-seeking circus artist who uses stage tricks to pull off a series of bank robberies, conjured up $697,000 at 30 locations for a per screen average of more than $23,000.

Directed and written by Vijay Krishna Acharya (who scripted the first two instalments), the actioner smashed the record for a Bollywood opening in the US, grabbing $3.3 million at 236 theatres.

David O. Russell’s American Hustle ranked in second spot in Oz, dropping by 32% to $1.5 million, which brings its cumulative tally to $4.7 million in 11 days.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball 2 was off by 15% in its third weekend, losing some sessions to sneaks of Disney’s Frozen, pocketing $1.4 million for a cume of $7.3 million.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire advanced to a lucrative $34.3 million after making $1.4 million in its fifth outing.

Personal Tailor, Feng Xiaogang’s biting satire of Chinese society and politics, launched at 10 locations, whistling up a hearty $108,000. Scripted by novelist and long-time Feng collaborator Wang Shuo, the film took an impressive $US15 million in its first two days in China, where distributor China Lion was surprised it was approved by the mainland censors.

The Gilded Cage, Ruben Alves’ upstairs/downstairs Parisian comedy, held strongly in its second weekend, earning nearly $75,000, propelling the cume to $255,000.