June 8, 2006

This Week in Australian Cinemas

WOW! This week Australia get's three current US releases, including 1 day-and-date release and one that's actually a day early. How about that? We also get a french arthouse flick and Stanley Kubrick's return!

The Break-Up, dir. Reed
Peyton Reed. Peyton Reed. What exactly is his jive? First the supremely excellent Bring It On and then the accomplished but hackneyed Down With Love and now Vince Vaughn and Rachel Green going head-to-head in a battle of the screenwriter-enduced fittest. While I'm not entirely sold on the project I actually wanna see this. I really honestly like Jennifer Aniston (probably left over will from "Friends"), and Vince Vaughn is good sometimes (I'm not a big fan though). But look at the rest of the cast! Judy David, Vincent D'onofrio, Ann-Margaret, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Ivan Sergie, Justin Long and last but not least, John Michael Higgins. Plus, some of the clips I've seen are quite amusing. Colour me unashamed.

Cars, dir. Lasseter
Now, what do we make of this? Firstly, it's brand new Pixar. PIXAR! And it's directed by John Lasseter (a god amongst animation). But... ever since this project began there has been an ever-present whiff of "not as good" about it. I brushed it off as "Coming after The Incredibles can you BLAME them?" (note, The Incredibles = their second greatest film ever after Toy Story 2). But as I saw the ads and I read the reviews it really does appear to not be great. The best I'm expecting right now is that it's their worst film (which, considering their worst is A Bug's Life and I give that a B+, is still excellent). Talking cars just don't have the same zest to them. We don't secretly imagine as a child that cars talk. We do imagine (well, some do) that our toys do, and that the animals do, but cars? Oh well. The proof will be in the pudding. Colour me skeptical.

The Omen, dir. Moore
I've already discussed this movie. It's been getting average reviews, and it looks average and, well, it looks like an average DVD movie, which is where I'll most likely see it (unless I somehow get roped into it) (awesome poster though). Colour me whatever.

L'enfer [Hell], dir. Tanovic
The director of the Oscar-winning No Man's Land (still inseen by me. I'm still devastated it beat Amelie for the Oscar, okay!?) takes a stab at Krzysztof Kieslowski after Tom Tykwer made Heaven in 2002. The second film of Kieslowski's hereto unproduced trilogy (after his ground-breaking Blue, White, Red trilogy) is about three sisters who join forces to heal old wounds. Sounds pretentiously European of course (which i am not adverse to like a lot of others) and it stars Emmanuelle Beart, Karis Viard and Marie Gillain as the sisters. Colour me intrigued.

Colour me Kubrick, dir. Cook
This British comedy finally reaches our shores. John Malkovich stars as a man who pretended to be director famously reclusive Stanley Kubrick in London as the real Kubrick filmed (the excellent) Eyes Wide Shut (which would become a notoriously famous shoot for several reasons). It's hard to get a proper reading on this. It's IMDb rating is 5.7, which doesn't inspire much and it received on 1 star (out of 5) from Leigh Paatsch. But then David Stratton gave it 4/5 and though Malkovich was brilliant. I might try and see this one, it's at least intriguing and original and it comes from men who worked with Kubrick on several pictures. Colour my Kubrick, indeed.

1. X-Men: The Last Stand (2)
2. The Da Vinci Code (3)
3. Poseidon (1)
4. Take the Lead (2)
5. RV (1)
6. Mission Impossible 3 (5)
7. Candy (2)
8. Benchwarmers (4)
9. Seperate Lives (2)
10. Warren Miller's Higher Ground (2)

X-Men and Da Vinci continue on their way. X-Men's numbers aren't that flash, but good enough. Da Vinci on the other hand is looking like it could make $30mil, which is pretty big. Poseidon manages to become the second word debut on 300 screens or more (after Scooby Doo 2: Monster's Unleashed in 2004). Lol, WAY TO GO!

Take the Lead continues to amaze in Australia for no apparent reason, dropping a scant 21% (second best hold in the top 10) and passing $3. Amazingly, it's per screen average is the highest in the top 10 apart from Higher Ground (obviously). RV doesn't make $1mil and makes me happy. MI3 barely crosses still hasn't reached $11mil and I laugh in the face of that movie. THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR THINKING PHILLIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN IS A BIG STAR, IDIOTS.

Aussie feature Candy drops a tiny 10% and near's $1mil. Who knows how high it could go. If word of mouth is good then it coule reach $2mil, which seems to be a good benchmark lately for Aussie dramas. Last week's other mid-range debut, the British Seperate Lives does one of the rarest box-office things you're ever gonna see and actually increased it's takings despite no rise in cinemas. Still on 36 screens, it improved 5% as I guess word-of-mouth tells people to see it theatrically and not on DVD (which is what I said I'd do. hmmm). Benchwarmers finally takes a bit hit, too. I rejoice. Rounding out the Top 10 is Warren Miller's Higher Ground on 3 screens and an average of $47,190, up 32% from last weekend.

Outside of the top 10, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada falls a tiny 5% and Hidden inches down 3% in it's fifth week, approaching $800,000 - an excellent end for a foreign film of this type. The World's Fastest Indian falls out of the top 10 and is now over $6mil. To put it simply, that is one of the biggest box office surprises of the year. The one-week-wonder Bollywood entry Fanaa tumbles down as does the ludicrously performing Last Holiday, which hasn't even reached $200,000 yet (comparable to $2mil in the states). Deep Sea 3D is down 3%, March of the Penguins down 5%, Kokoda down 29% and Ballet Russes is up 5%, making it a big hit doco for Hopscotch.

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