Continuing the 2015 resurgence of Australian cinema, Oddball vaulted past Last Cab to Darwin last weekend to rank as the fourth most popular local film in cinemas this year.
As IF foreshadowed last week, the Australian feature films and docs released in 2015 plus holdovers were set to break the previous all-time calendar year record of $63.4 million in 2001, the year of Moulin Rouge!, Lantana, The Man Who Sued God and Crocodile Dundee in LA.
Mission: accomplished, as the total surpassed an estimated $64 million on Monday.
Produced by Steve Kearney and Richard Keddie and directed by Stuart McDonald, Oddball collected $1.5 million in its third weekend (slipping by 17 per cent), propelling its earnings to $8.1 million.
Jeremy Sims’ Last Cab to Darwin has reached $7.1 million while Deane Taylor’s Blinky Bill: The Movie climbed to $2.3 million after pocketing $424,000 in its third session.
George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is the No. 1 local title with $21.6 million followed by Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner at $10.1 million in calendar 2015 ($15.9 million lifetime) and Rob Connolly’s Paper Planes with $9.6 million.
Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, which stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, opened on 31 screens, generating a modest $83,000 and $96,000 including previews.
Nationwide weekend takings shot up by 11 per cent to $17.2 million, according to Rentrak’s estimate, as 20th Century Fox’s The Martian lifted off with a meteoric $6.1 million.
Pro-rata that’s slightly ahead of the $US54.3 million debut in the US for the Ridley Scott-directed action adventure starring Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara and Michael Pena. Even so that's the second highest October opening of all time in the US, behind Gravity.
In second place, Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway proved an appealing combination in Warner Bros’ The Intern, director Nancy Meyers’s first effort since It’s Complicated in 2009, which rang up $2 million and $2.7 million with previews.
Sony’s Pixels advanced to $11.5 million after scoring $1.46 million in its fourth outing, ahead of Roadshow/WB’s Pan, which hooked $1.44 million, fetching $5.5 million in 11 days.
No other title grossed $1 million but Fox’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials progressed to $12.5 million in its fourth frame, Universal’s Everest ascended to $8.9 million in its third and Roadshow’s Sicario hit $3.8 million in its second session.