Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight opened in sixth spot in a generally weak trading session at Australian cinemas last weekend, way below Blue Jasmine’s debut last year.
The South of France-set comedy starring Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Eileen Atkins and Jacki Weaver whistled up $762,000 at 131 screens, and $826,000 with previews, no match for Blue Jasmine’s $1.07 million debut on 128.
Of course Woody’s latest opus lacks two things that Blue Jasmine had going for it: Cate Blanchett, and reviews that were far more effusive (91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes vs 48% for Magic).
Jasmine ended up with $6.4 million, a remarkably high 6-to-1 multiple of the opening weekend, a feat which is unlikely to be repeated by Firth’s conjuror and Stone’s self-styled psychic.
Nationwide takings dropped by 22% to $9.6 million, according to Rentrak’s estimates, as only four films earned more than $1 million.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy regained the top spot, making nearly $1.9 million in its fourth orbit, elevating the total to $21.5 million.
Almost everyone who wanted to see The Inbetweeners 2 rushed out on the first weekend or word of mouth is pretty bad, judging by the comedy’s 50% plunge to $1.5 million as it scored $5.7 million in 11 days.
Warner Bros/Roadshow probably lowered their expectations for If I Stay after the teenage drama had an unexciting debut in the US and so can’t have been surprised when the saga based on Gayle Forman’s young-adult novel, which stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a cellist who falls in love with an older indie rocker at school, took $1.08 million.
As IF has reported, there were middling debuts for two Australian films, the Spierig brothers’ Predestination ($206,000 on 49 screens) and Matthew Saville’s Felony ($197,000 on 47 with previews).
Madman had theatrical screenings of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods, the first new feature in the anime franchise in 17 years, raking in $125,000 at eight screens.
Locke, a claustrophobic road movie starring Tom Hardy behind the wheel of a car on an increasingly fraught journey, fetched a fair $22,000 from four screens and $67,000 with sneaks.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE Aug 28-31
Title Week/ Screens Box Office % +- Total
1 Guardians of the Galaxy 4/465 $1,894,186 -31 $21,535,782
2 The Inbetweeners 2 2/307 1,568,385 -50 5,690,664
3 The Hundred-Foot Journey 3/315 1,302,310 -26 7,780,750
4 If I Stay 1/200 1,088,923 NA 1,088,923
5 Lucy 5/233 822,618 -28 14,153,049
6 Magic in the Moonlight 1/131 761,593 NA 826,528
7 The Expendables 3 3/261 463,639 -49 3,908,064
8 Predestination 1/49 201,560 NA 205,986
9 Felony 1/47 185,429 NA 197,447
10 Begin Again 4/91 162,359 -47 1,252,801
Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia