The Sapphires hits $5.6m at the box office

20 August, 2012 by Brendan Swift

Australian film The Sapphires has reached almost $5.6 million at the box office after a strong second weekend at cinemas.

The Hopscotch-distributed film grossed $1.96 million over the weekend, dropping just 16 per cent, suggesting word-of-mouth is positive. A typical Hollywood blockbuster can fall 50 per cent in its second weekend. The Sapphires was shown on 280 screens resulting in a strong screen average of $7017.


Hopscotch managing director Troy Lum thanked an audience of cinema owners at the Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast for their support. He said the film was one of the few Indigenous Australian breakout hits and its success came despite a lack of Hollywood stars.

“We’re really breaking barriers with this film,” he said.

The Sapphires is set in the late-60s about a quartet of young, talented singers (Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell) from a remote Aboriginal mission, discovered and guided by a kind-hearted, soul-loving manager (Chris O'Dowd).

It now rivals the second biggest local film of 2012, the $5.63 million box office gross of comedy A Few Best Men.

In a taped address, The Sapphires director Wayne Blair said it was a great feeling to have a hit movie.

“What does this means to Indigenous Australia? Look, it’s four black women on the big screen for the first time just having the same wants and needs as non-Indigenous women. It’s a weird place to be in a cinema barracking for four black women, and you’re this white woman from… Newcastle going c’mon Cynthia, c’mon Gail – and I’ve seen that happen.”

Meanwhile, another Australian film, Storm Surfers 3D,  posted a strong $45,378 across two screens. It has now grossed $75,942 in total.

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