The Dressmaker stays strong, Now Add Honey weak

08 November, 2015 by Don Groves

Word of mouth could not be stronger for The Dressmaker, judging by its superb second weekend takings in Australian cinemas.

However Wayne Hope’s comedy Now Add Honey misfired, perhaps illustrating the gulf in sensibility between TV and cinema.


Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker scored $3.6 million at 289 locations, a drop of just 3 per cent, which hoists its earnings to $8.26 million.

With that kind of stamina, the dramedy based on the Rosalie Han novel, starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving, could be headed for $20 million.

The Universal release was a cut above the rest as none of the newcomers made an impression and nationwide receipts dropped by 7 per cent to $9.9 million, according to Rentrak’s estimate.

Ridley Scott’s The Martian advanced to $25.3 million after earning $1.4 million in its sixth orbit (off just 10 per cent), while Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies took $973,000 in its third weekend (down 25 per cent), reaching $5.6 million.

Now Add Honey, which stars Robyn Butler (who wrote the screenplay), Portia de Rossi, Lucy Fry and Hamish Blake, fetched $80,000 on 64 screens plus 10 grand in previews. The plot about the misadventures of a bratty Hollywood starlet and her uptight mother clearly did not resonate, even with those who appreciated Butler and Hope’s entertaining TV series Upper Middle Bogan and The Librarians.

Oddball reached $10.6 million, Alex & Eve advanced to $324,000 after pocketing $70,000 in its third weekend on 32 screens and Blinky Bill: The Movie is nearing the end of its run with $2.8 million.

With Spectre set to invade cinemas on Thursday, distributors released a bunch of titles which will have very short lives.

Paramount launched horror-comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, which follows three lifelong friends who team up with a kick-ass cocktail waitress to become unlikely heroes, mustering an anaemic $485,000 on 197 screens.

Simon Pegg and Lake Bell’s antics in Studiocanal's Man Up, a rom-com about a heartbroken guy who mistakes an unconventional singleton for his blind date, fell flat with $191,000 on 103 screens including previews.

EOne's Freeheld, the true story of a terminally ill police detective’s fight to ensure her same-sex partner receives her entitlements after her death, starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page and Steve Carell, bombed, taking $41,000 on 37 screens.

Among the dregs: Becker's 5 to 7 took $9,000 on 16 screens and Roadshow's No Escape lived up to its title with $2,500 on 10 screens.