Aussie Summer Box Office Battle – The Battle Of The Summer Limited Releases!

I often talk about the mainstream releases and never really go into much depth on what’s happening out there in the world of the limited release (Or ‘Arthouse’ release, though I think the term arthouse has been redundant in Australian cinema for about the last 10 years – the only thing arthouse about modern releases is that they are in a foreign language). For the purpose of keeping it limited I’m only ranking the top 10 films under 50 prints on release from Boxing Day Dec 26, 2011 – Jan 10, 2012 and here’s how they fared! (Figures sourced from MPDAA and IBOE)

1. WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR – Palace Films – $686k – 29 prints – $23,655 screen average. A cracking result for the French comedy that’s sat and happily played consistently since it’s release. A fantastic screen average too – this is the true indicator of the strength of the film in the market place! 



2. ALBERT NOBBS – E-One/Hopscotch Films – $442k – 28 prints – $15,786 screen average. A solid result if shadowed by that ICON juggernaut THE IRON LADY, you know the other A-List US Actress that cross dresses movie, which will continue to dominate the upmarket cinemas until the Oscars get here. If solid word of mouth holds on ALBERT, she/he too can still hold out.



3. DON 2 – Mindblowing Films – $436k – 13 prints – $33,538 screen average. Indian films at Christmas in Australia is a cash bonanza and this is the perfect example of how receptive and outgoing the Indian audience is. Look at that screen average!! Highest of the limited releases.



4. THE SKIN I LIVE IN – Transmission Films – $377k – 21 prints – $17,952 screen average Pedro Almaldovar always seems to get his films released in this corridor – Broken Embraces was the same and this one has performed stronger than its predecessor. Namely thanks to a name cast and stronger reviews. 



5. MELANCHOLIA – Madman Films – $272k – 21 prints  – $12,952 screen average. Lars Von Trier’s mental health issue / the world is ending allegory slowly chipping away at the box but under the weight of THE IRON LADY, ALBERT NOBBS and tomorrows THE DESCENDANTS it’ll be game on to keep this puppy ticking over till Oscar time, where Kirsten Dunst should get a nomination.



6. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN – E-One/Hopscotch Films – $107k – 18 prints – $5,944 screen average The unfilmable book is setting sail now but not after a stunning run, ignoring the results here – the film itself has certainly captured an audience in Australia and it’s great to see it still in play into the new year – a feat I’d hazard a guess no-one would’ve predicted.



7. PLAYERS – SAGG Films – $63k – 12 prints  – $5,250 screen average  Competing Indian titles duked it out and PLAYERS came off 2nd best to DON 2.





8. BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK – Madman Entertainment – $45k – 10 prints – $4,500 screen average Another long player that forged an audience and actually took a result which is a doubly grand feat considering the state of documentary play off in Australia. SENNA & CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS were the last notable documentary releases and as this one finishes up, its good to see one feature in the post new year line up!



9. NICKY’S FAMILY – Champion Pictures – $23k – 2 prints – $11,500 screen average. This ultra limited special engagement picture has done respectable business in the 2 houses it played in. 




10. THE SALT OF LIFE – Rialto Distribution – $18k – 9 prints – $2,000 screen average Aussies didn’t embrace this Italian Comedy at all – albeit having great reviews and a thrift run time. There’s always blood letting this time of year and this youngling was the victim this year.