June 4, 2007

Something Strange Happened at the Oz Box Office

[Movie Marshal, Source]

I was casually traversing the internet this afternoon and in my travels I went to Movie Marshal, the place I go to find out what happened at the Australian box office. Usually, I take a glance over the top 20 chart. I see what the new movies made, if any Aussie films made the cut, etc. But for this last weekend (Thur 31-Sun 03, movies are released on Thursday here) I was left scratching my head. What happened?

Could it be that Winter certainly made itself welcome this past weekend and people seeked shelter from the storm in cinemas? Or were people incredibly bored by sport on offer? Was it just because there weren't any new blockbusters? Did people just get a sudden desire to see Georgie Rule? Let's take a gander

#1 - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
A big hit. It fell less that 50% in it's second weekend, something it didn't do in America, and adds another $6mil+ to it's total. It currently stands at just $1.4 million behind Spider-Man 3 after two weeks. However, Spider-Man 3 has been out for five weeks. Just goes to show that Spider-Man 3 is a load to shite.

#2 - Spider-Man 3
The movie's crap and the box office shows. Not even reaching $25mil is sort of terrible. Still, it's not as bad as Superman Returns from last year. Didn't that only make, like, $12mil?

#3 - Zodiac
The first instance of "WTF?" David Fincher's quietly ace Zodiac falls a tiny 11%. After a disappointing opening weekend (much like America) Zodiac is slowly making some nice moolah here, which is nice to see.

#4 - Romulus, My Father
This new Australia Eric Bana film made an impressive debut at #4 on only 45 screens. It had a per screen average of $7000+, which was enough for the third highest average in the top 10 after Off the Grid and Pirates. Could be on it's way to a couple of mil gross, which would be good news for this film. I saw it a few weeks back and it's quite nice, but nothing terribly exciting.

#5 - Georgie Rule
Another "WTF?" moment. Why, of all things, did Georgie Rule fall only 6% in it's fourth weekend? Makes no sense, really.

#6 - Breach
This "WTF?" moment falls only 5%! What's happening here? I'm glad this movie is doing alright considering it's supposedly quite good (I'm gonna wait for DVD though). Still, doesn't explain why it had the smallest fall in the entire chart.

#7 - Because I Said So
Another "WTF?" fall of only 11% in it's fifth weekend. I know my friend saw it this last weekend and I think it was more because there wasn't anything else to see, but still... huh?

#8 - 28 Weeks Later
Not even a horror movie gets a big fall. This one fell 14% in it's fourth weekend. It's amazing how this movie has just sort of died all over the world though. What went wrong? Was it the lack of anyone attached the original? Not enough advertising. Or, perhaps, people just couldn't be bothered seeing a sequel that looks exactly the same as the original. Perhaps...

#9 - Warren Miller's Off The Grid
Warren Miller's IMAX movies always too stratospheric business for a while and then disappear. On only three screens (up from two last week, which explains the 41%spike in business) it averaged nearly $50,000. Pirates only averaged just over $10,000.

#10 - Bridge to Terabithia (p/v)
The numbers for this movie are skewed because they're from preview screenings (which America does, but adds the numbers onto the total of another film). These only have one screening a day usually. I'm still confused as to why the posters for this movie advertise it as an animated movie when it's clearly not.

#11 - My Best Friend
This French film by Patrice Leconte (the amazing Girl on the Bridge) falls out of the top 10 with an 8% dip in revenue. These sorts of films always do reasonably well on the indie cinema circuit. And they usually do better here on a per capita basis than they do in America.

#12 - The History Boys
Has been a mild success here, grossing over $1mil so far. It falls 22% this week which is, amazingly, the fourth largest fall of any film in the top 20.

#13 - As It Is In Heaven
The biggest "WTF?" moment for the last few weeks has been the amazing resurgance of this Oscar-nominated Swedish film, which has been on the charts for a phenominally unheard of 53 weeks. In the last few weeks it has shown up in the top 20 for the first time since it's initial release. It has been doing the arthouse circuit around the country and I think it recently made it's way to Melbourne after so long in other cities like Sydney. I think I read somewhere that it's actually beaten Titanic in total ticket sales in some Sydney theatres. This week As It Is In Heaven increased it's gross by a whopping 53%. It's total is still only $1.1mil, but this is an amazing chart run. I didn't think this was even possible anymore.

#14 - Shooter
For some "WTF?" reason this 7-week-old film dipped only 16%. Why, exactly?

#15 - Noise
*explodes with joy* It makes me so happy to see this great Australian flick doing so well. It fell only 10% in it's fifth weekend and currently has nearly $600,000. I am sure you'll all be hearing much more about this movie in the upcoming months as we get closer to the AFI awards period - it'll be a big fixture of the awards, I can tell.

#16 - The Italian
This six-week-old Russian film has proved to be incredibly resilian for some reason. It really does appear that adults are seeking out films like this and Noise and The Lives of Others week after week. I'm sure Margaret Pomeranz' five-star rave helped it gain some extra audience members.

#17 - The Lives of Others
With a gross over over $2.2million, The German (very worthy) Oscar winner for Foreign Language Film has made more money than half of Hollywood's product this year. Last week it showed that after ten weeks it's starting to faulter, with a fall of 23%.

#18 - Paris Je'taime
This has proven to be yet another arthouse hit here in Australia with a gross of $1.2mil after 7 weeks (for American box office watchers, multiply any Aussie gross by 10 and you'll get a rough equiveland. So, following these trends, Paris should have $12mil in American box-office - it doesn't). It fells 11%. Amazing.

#19 - Reno 911!: Miami
It fell 41% in it's third weekend and has so far grossed about $400,000. Which is actually good because I didn't think anybody had even heard of this show over here.

#20 - Orchestra Seats
I believe this went by the name Avenue Montaigne in America and other places. It so far has nearly $150,000 to it's name. Impressive for this French movie, considering there's been so many French-lite movies lately.

Also debuting uncharted were that silly Pang Brothers flop Messengers, plus The Last Mimzy (?). The US Vs John Lennon made a splash on two screens and an average of over $10,000. Some movie called The End of the Spear also debuted - through the entire nation if made $6,532. Maybe if I knew what this movie was I'd have something to say about that.

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