There’s Something Funny Going On… A Look At Will Ferrell At The Aussie Box Office Against The United States.

With the release of THE CAMPAIGN last thursday, the 27th film Will Ferrell has been in on Australian screens, I thought we’d take a little look see at how the man who’s been at the forefront of modern American comedy for the last 15 years. You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that Ferrell came out of the SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE fold and his brand of eccentric comedy has garnered him walls of fans.

Will Ferrell is very much an American man in terms of business performance on his titles. On average his films perform at 6% U.S. pro rata here – well under the 10% bench mark the industry sets on releases for this territory. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions – there certainly are (Austin 2, The Producers, Semi Pro, Melinda & Melinda) – but on a whole Australia tends to slightly under perform on his titles. Using the phrase ‘under perform’ is sounds a bit tougher than actually is – What it does suggest to me, looking at the performance figures of his films, is that Will Ferrell branded comedy is very urban/suburban. It plays to pop culture, sport and politics and therefore will have a greater performance concentration in metropolitan areas than regionally.

What’s interesting to note about Will Ferrell is that his highest grossing film in Australia, with his name as the headline star was 2010’s MEGAMIND, where he was a cartoon. It only did 5% pro rata to the massive U.S. result of $321m. All of his other top performers are films where he is buddied with another named star – THE OTHER GUYS (Mark Wahlberg), BEWITCHED (Nicole Kidman), STEP BROTHERS (John C Reilly)… Will works best when he’s bouncing off somebody.

Here’s a look at the 27 films that have released in Australia and how we’ve stacked up against the United States. Figures from rentrack and boxofficemojo. Please note THE CAMPAIGN figures are adjusted forecasts based off the weekend figures.

Check out this list below and, if it intrigues you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are the target audience?
  • Do you think the concept is pretty basic or high?
  • Did
Release Date Title Rating Dist Opening WkndLocal Currency Cume GrossLocal Currency US Gross $USD Pro Rata
17/06/1999 Austin Powers: Spy Who Shagged Me, The M RDS $5,718,323 $22,380,168 $205,399,422 10.90%
11/08/2005 Wedding Crashers, The M RDS $4,259,841 $16,819,710 $285,176,741 5.90%
09/12/2010 Megamind PG PPI $2,468,882 $16,026,860 $321,885,765 4.98%
09/09/2010 Other Guys, The M SONY $2,729,612 $10,374,046 $119,219,978 8.70%
07/07/2005 Bewitched PG SONY $3,565,347 $9,841,080 $131,426,969 7.49%
18/09/2008 Step Brothers MA15+ SONY $2,331,584 $9,255,609 $100,468,793 9.21%
27/11/2003 Elf G RDS $1,045,132 $8,435,229 $220,443,451 3.83%
21/06/2007 Blades Of Glory M PPI $2,012,184 $7,877,326 $118,153,533 6.67%
21/09/2006 Talladega Nights: Ballad Of Ricky Bobby M SONY $1,720,494 $5,990,384 $148,213,377 4.04%
09/08/2012 Campaign, The MA15+ WBI $2,010,000 $5,487,300 $88,647,819 6.19%
12/01/2006 Producers, The M UIP $1,345,338 $4,606,519 $19,377,727 23.77%
01/11/2001 Zoolander M RDS $1,274,450 $4,437,146 $60,780,981 7.30%
11/06/2009 Land Of The Lost PG UPI $1,528,657 $4,100,763 $49,392,095 8.30%
03/04/2008 Semi-Pro M RDS $1,384,580 $4,077,592 $33,472,850 12.18%
01/02/2007 Stranger Than Fiction M RDS $772,757 $2,379,270 $40,137,776 5.93%
21/10/2004 Anchorman M UIP $767,567 $2,280,187 $84,136,909 2.71%
29/05/2003 Old School MA15+ UIP $773,457 $2,158,153 $86,941,509 2.48%
21/08/1997 Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery M RDS $187,550 $1,985,773 $53,868,030 3.69%
24/01/2002 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back MA15+ RDS $925,015 $1,976,012 $30,059,386 6.57%
11/08/2005 Kicking And Screaming PG UIP $460,348 $1,866,112 $52,980,895 3.52%
17/08/2006 Curious George G UIP $335,928 $1,155,881 $58,336,565 1.98%
26/05/2005 Melinda And Melinda M FOXI $101,237 $465,046 $3,825,351 12.16%
21/09/2000 Superstar (1999) M PPI $142,250 $375,350 $30,628,981 1.23%
13/05/1999 Night At The Roxbury, A TBC PPI $160,180 $370,226 $30,324,946 1.22%
12/10/2000 Drowning Mona M PPI $96,597 $322,484 $16,175,100 1.99%
17/02/2000 Dick (1999) M SONY $84,888 $175,438 $6,241,697 2.81%
02/08/2001 Ladies Man, The MA15+ PPI $32,935 $54,827 $13,592,872 0.40%
GRAND TOTALS $38,235,133 $145,274,491 $2,409,309,518 6.03%
AVERAGES $1,416,116 $5,380,537 $89,233,686

Needless to say, the Ferrell machine is alive and well! And when the guy is as omnipresent as Will is – you can expect to see him hanging around for a lot longer yet!! And can I just add – ANCHORMAN 2!!!! Oh. HELLS. YES!