Australian/UK co-production Oranges and Sunshine has posted a strong opening at the Australian Box Office.

The Jim Loach film, which stars Emily Watson, David Wenham and Hugo Weaving, took in $906,232 over the long weekend, showing on 103 screens, giving it a healthy screen average of $8798.

This is the second Australian film of the year to open on more than 100 screens after 3D flick Sanctum opened on 252 screens in early February.

Distributed by Icon, the highly-emotional film stars Watson as Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys, who uncovers one of our country’s biggest secrets – the deportation of thousands of British children who were sent to Australia.

The story was largely unknown for many years and has come to life with the film, which saw both Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Gordon Brown apologise to their respective people back in 2009-10.

The Sixteen Films/See-Saw Films co-production was shot in both Nottingham and South Australia.

Oscar-winning producer Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech) told IF earlier this year he was immensely proud of the film, which was penned by Rona Munro.

“It just had such authenticity and truth to it and so many really touching moments as well as being about something that needs to be told," the Sydney-based Sherman said.

“Having been involved with films from Rabbit Proof Fence to even The King’s Speech, I definitely have an imperative to try and tell stories that are meaningful and need to get out there and Oranges and Sunshine is absolutely one of those.”

In other box office news, word of mouth has given Madman’s Snowtown another $131, 081 over the long weekend from 30 screens. The highly-controversial psychological thriller has now grossed $756,265 since its release four weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Mrs Carey’s Concert took in a further $109,498 over the long weekend from 43 screens – and is about to break the box office record of 2009’s Love The Beast which made $777,351. The doco has made $773,244 and will soon become Australia’s fifth biggest documentary of all time.

Paramount/Transmission film Here I Am made another $5797 from just nine screens, while 3D flick Cane Toads: The Conquest, distributed by Pinnacle Films, took $4581 from 20 screens. Mad Bastards, on just six screens, made $17,224 across the long weekend.

Big Hollywood flick Super 8, produced by legend Steven Spielberg, took in $3.3 million for Paramount, from 380 screens, while The Hangover Part II and X-Men: First Class raked in $4.5 million and $3.6 million, respectively.

Pick up a copy of the June/July issue of IF Magazine for a full feature on Oranges and Sunshine.

Australian films at the local box office in 2011 

 Opening w/e
 Box Office
Oranges and Sunshine
Mrs. Carey's Concert
Music Films
Madman Entertainment
Mad Bastards
Griff The Invisible
Wasted On The Young
The Reef
Pinnacle Films
A Heartbeat Away
Here I Am
Cane Toads: The Conquest
Pinnacle Films

Source: IF, MPDAA

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *