The Hunter takes $260k in opening weekend

10 October, 2011 by Sam Dallas

Australian psychological drama The Hunter, starring Hollywood iconic actor Willem Dafoe, has posted a modest opening weekend.

While Porchlight Films would’ve been hoping their latest project had a similar opening to last year’s big hit Animal Kingdom (which grossed $604,000 across 48 screens), it wasn’t to be, but still did rake in $260,101 across 56 screens, earning a screen average of $4645. This adds to the film’s $59,880 in preview screening revenue.


The film, which also stars Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor, recently had a strong reaction from critics at the world premiere at Toronto, which saw the Daniel Nettheim-directed flick net a dozen international distribution deals including the US (Magnolia Pictures).

Written by Alice Addison and based on the Julia Leigh novel of the same name, The Hunter follows the long journey of Martin (Dafoe), a mercenary, who is sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness to search for the last remaining Tasmanian Tiger.

Fred Schepisi’s latest Australian film The Eye of the Storm continues to take in box office dollars, adding a further $165,272 to its tally. The limited release Paramount/Transmission drama, starring Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling, has now made $1.19 million and is the fourth biggest Australian film of the year, just beating documentary Mrs. Carey’s Concert.

Caught Inside, from feature debutant Adam Blaiklock, took $6603 from just 10 screens for Umbrella Entertainment in its opening weekend. The film, about one man’s dominance over a group, turns into a nightmare of survival for the characters on an isolated yacht.

The biggest local film of the year, Red Dog, has almost cracked the $20 million mark – the Roadshow-distributed tale has taken $19,670,967 since opening on August 4.

In other local box office news, Real Steel was the king of the ring, raking in more than $4.3 million for Disney in its opening weekend. Starring Aussie favourite Hugh Jackman, the film netted a screen average of $11,949 (from 356 screens). Sony’s The Smurfs, now in its fourth week, still remained second, taking a further $2.3 million across 434 screens. Crazy, Stupid, Love ($2.2 million from 328 screens), spy-spoof Johnny English: Reborn ($1.2 million from 255 screens) and 1980s remake Footloose (a disappointing $1.1 million in its opening weekend across 229 screens) rounded off the top five.

Meanwhile, Australian action/thriller Killer Elite continues to struggle in the US, taking $US2.2 million across 2411 screens in its third weekend. Earning a screen average of $US892, the film suffered a 56 per cent drop from last weekend and made 12th place. It’s now grossed $US21.6 million in the US and opens in Australia on December 1.

For a full feature on The Hunter, check out the October/November issue of IF Magazine.

Australian films at the Box Office 2011

Source: IF, MPDAA, Transmission Films