The Cup wasn’t quite the film that stopped the nation in its opening weekend but it still made more than $800,000 for distributor Roadshow.

The film, which follows the events leading up to Damien Oliver’s win at the 2002 Melbourne Cup, took in $817,696 across 277 screens, posting a modest screen average of $2952.

Opening on 32 more screens than Red Dog (which opened on 245 in early-August), The Cup had a long journey to get to the big screen after several setbacks. The outbreak of equine influenza, the US writers' strike and the global financial crisis all contributed to the delay of the $15 million flick which stars Stephen Curry, Daniel MacPherson, Jodie Gordon and Shaun Micallef.

Roadshow’s other local film of the year, Red Dog, continues to bite, now passing $20 million at the local box office. The Kriv Stenders drama added a further $322,892 on the weekend, from 208 screens.

Meanwhile, The Hunter posted $168,155 (on 57 screens) in its second weekend – down 35 per cent. Starring Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe, the psychological drama has taken $615,292 at the local box office after receiving favourable reviews in Toronto last month.

In other local films, The Eye of the Storm, directed by Fred Schepisi, took a further $104,087 in its fifth weekend for Paramount/Transmission and is now the fourth biggest Australian film of 2011. The $15 million drama will struggle to pass Sanctum, which grossed $3.8 million earlier this year.

Caught Inside, about one man’s dominance over a group, added $6629 from 10 screens in its second weekend. Adam Blaiklock’s feature debut was shot on location in the Maldives over a period of four weeks.

Low-budget romcom, Surviving Georgia, opened across the weekend but figures aren’t yet available.

Robot boxing film Real Steel, starring Aussie favourite Hugh Jackman, again knocked out its competition, taking first place with $2.3 million in its second weekend. The Disney flick was seen on 349 screens. Crazy, Stupid, Love ($1.2 million, 311 screens, Warner Bros), What’s Your Number ($830,519, 199 screens, Fox), The Cup, and The Smurfs ($721,608, 411 screens, Sony) rounded off the wide-release top five.

In limited release films, Kevin Smith's latest, Red State, grossed $58,818 for distributor Curious Films on 28 screens. Also in its opening weekend, Take Shelter, made $26,338, while The Whistleblower made $42,435 from 28 screens in its third week for Hopscotch/eOne.

For a full feature on The Cup, pick up a copy of the October/November issue of IF Magazine which is now available. To see the trailer of The Cup, click here.

Australian films at the local box office 2011

Source: IF, MPDAA, Transmission Films

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