By Brendan Swift

Local teen action film Tomorrow, When the War Began has passed the $7 million mark in its second weekend at cinemas, making it the second biggest local film of the year.

However, its weekend tally of $2.07 million was a hefty 46 per cent drop on its opening weekend, which lowered the film's screen average to $6118 (across 342 screens) from $11,293.

By contrast, last year's biggest grossing film Mao's Last Dancer posted a 26 per cent drop in its second week at cinemas, despite opening with a lower $2.75 million in its first weekend. The dance drama went on to take $15.44 million, ranking it as the twelfth biggest of all time.

Tomorrow, When the War Began is the directorial debut of Hollywood screenwriter Stuart Beattie and was produced by Omnilab Media's production arm Ambience Entertainment.

The film is based on the John Marsden classic and tells the story of a group of teenagers who, returning from a holiday in remote Australia, find their country has been invaded. They are forced to band together and defend their country against an unknown force.

The top film over the weekend was Universal's animated Despicable Me, which took $3.23 million across 353 screens in its opening weekend. Its tally now stands at more than $4.9 million including previews. It was followed by another new release, Sony's comedy The Other Guys, which took $2.72 million across 242 screens.

Meanwhile, local drama Matching Jack appears to have ended its cinematic run after four weeks. The David Parker-Nadia Tass film was distributed by Fox across 186 screens but did not find a similarly sized audience despite generally positive reviews.

New Zealand's Boy has continued to perform well, passing the $1 million mark in its third weekend. It grossed $191,111 – a drop of 24 per cent on the previous weekend – across 50 screens.

In the US, Australia's Mao's Last Dancer has now taken more than $US2.22 million while crime drama Animal Kingdom has climbed to $US718,873 according to Box Office Mojo.

This year's biggest local box office earner, Bran Nue Dae, opened with $US23,527 across 16 screens.

Australasian Films at the local box office 2010

 Opening w/e
 Box Office
Bran Nue Dae
Tomorrow …
$27m est.
Kings of Mykonos
$6m est.
Animal Kingdom
$5m est.
Beneath Hill 60
$20m est.
I Love You Too
Bright Star
$16.7m est.
Matching Jack
$5m est.
The Waiting City
$2m est.
South Solitary
Accidents Happen
$6.5m est.
Love, Lust & Lies
Beyond Entertainment
Second Hand Wedding
Kojo Pictures
Girl Clock!
Separation City
$8m est.
Going Vertical
The Pack/Blue Sea Films
Savages Crossing
The Nothing Men
Anchor Bay Films
Playing For Charlie
The Pack
The Horseman
Umbrella Entertainment
The Tumbler
The Pack

  Source: MPDAA, INSIDEFILM. Separation City, Second Hand Wedding and Boy are NZ films. Bright Star released Dec 26, 2009; tally does not include 2009 box office.

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