Aussie Box Office Weekend Round Up Oct 11 – 14, 2012 (Taken 2 Holds The Throne, Looper Continues To Over Perform, Aussies Not Into Lawlessness Or Killing?)

It was a weekend where a wall of films released and 4 of them vied for the same market – and the newbies were the losers. Yes with the release of LAWLESS & KILLING THEM SOFTLY coming into a market that TAKEN 2 and LOOPER were already duking it out in the Cinemas were a wall of choice for the male skew action fan.. And chose they did…

The dream run of TAKEN 2 continues at home as, even though it fell by 55% (on par with the rest of the world), it still held onto the #1 spot with a $3.4m weekend.  The film has now smashed past $10m and should happily kick along to the $17m mark before it bows out. It’s a cracker win for FOX and exhibitors alike as it really held up the box office for the weekend.

IF ever there was a defiant against all odds movie in play at the moment its LOOPER, the film has outperformed the U.S. with a cracking pro rata performance so far of 16.92% and this figure will grow as the weeks go on. To come in 2nd for the weekend with a $1.29m gross is all the more impressive considering it had to contend with TAKEN 2, LAWLESS (brand new) & KILLING THEM SOFTLY (brand new). They’re all male skew violent pictures and yet LOOPER holds 2nd spot. What a win! Currently sitting on $8.7m domestically by this time next week it’ll have crossed $10m. It will also have its work cut out for it from Thursday when PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 is unleashed.

3D MADAGASCAR 3 raked in another $908k for the weekend (pretty much all of that coming from Saturday Sunday) to take its haul near on $23m. With solid weekend holds for the next month MADAGASCAR should be able to land around the $24.5m for its season. It’s a giant result for the film and is dead on track to repeat the ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT performance.

LAWLESS, the first of the new releases to hit the top ten, came in 4th with $844k. Its a disappointing result for the flick that went out on 211 screens. The film had the 5th highest screen average ($3997) in the country but the prohibition era pic couldn’t nab the mainstream audience even with such a strong campaign attached to it. Did the film go too wide? How could you not go wide with a cast and story like that!?  Instinctually I believe the film would’ve performed exceptionally well in the more sophisticated suburban art houses and multiplexes. It would’ve really struggled in the country and down market suburbans. The upside is, should the sessions hold, the week on week fall for this flick will be much less than than most mainstream releases.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA joins the $10m club this weekend taking in $767k in its 4th week of release. This property is surely kicking goals both here and in the U.S., where it’s been enormous and even under the weight of MADAGASCAR the film has found footing and has performed. Bring on the sequel and watch how this puppy does when it hits home entertainment next year! Bazinga!

MENTAL only dropped 33% for 6th place this weekend with a $730k gross. This brings the films haul to $2.81m and MENTAL should look to finish up around the $5m +/-  for its theatrical gross. Its a bit disappointing for the Aussie flick and would be well shy of the number needed to balance the P & A spend Universal poured into it – they went all out and big cheers to that! – but it does show that there is an audience out there for a bit of challenging Aussie cinema.

KILLING THEM SOFTLY garnered the 4th highest screen average off 165 prints with $4028 and a weekend gross of $665k. On half the amount of screens as TAKEN 2, 110 less than LOOPER and 46 less than LAWLESS – the odds were stacked against this black crime comedy to find an audience. But find an audience it did. Much like LAWLESS, the sensibilities of KILLING THEM SOFTLY really lie in the upscales and suburban multiplexes over regional areas and the same fate belies this one – the hold next weekend should be fairly solid and you will see the down market suburbans and regionals fall away as the upscale and crossover locations continue to perform.

ARBITRAGE continues its dream run on a limited front as it drops 32% and $353k for the weekend (off an expanded 99 screens). Madman’s little winner is set to cross $2m today and this successful little gem should happy coast along to $3m before it bows out.

THE SAPPHIRES is poised to cross $14m this week at the Aussie Box Office! Woo Hoo! Congratulations to E-One/Hopscotch and Exhibs all round that have held onto the film. It truly is this years MAO’S LAST DANCER and what a great performance consider having to contend with KATH & KIMDERELLA and MENTAL. From here the film is pretty much baked and should tap out around $14.2m

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, the doco that continues to surprise me as it keeps finding an audience, opened with the 2nd highest screen average in the country with $6,518 off 7 prints for a weekend gross of $45.6k. The multi award winning doco is another little winner for Madman and is definitely one for regional showcase calendars.

Figures From MPDAA.

NATIONAL TOP TEN

THIS FILM TITLE C/SHIP DISTRIBUTOR WEEKS BOX OFFICE % +.- SCREENS SCR TOTAL BO
WEEK IN RELEASE THIS WEEKEND $ AVG $ TO DATE $
1 TAKEN 2 M FOX 2 3,423,358 -55% 367 9,328 13,114,145
2 LOOPER MA15+ ROADSHOW 3 1,291,011 -36% 276 4,678 8,729,271
3 MADAGASCAR 3: PG PARAMOUNT 5 907,912 -71% 412 2,204 22,779,562
4 LAWLESS MA15+ ROADSHOW 1 843,377 N/A 211 3,997 843,377
5 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA PG SONY PICTURES 4 767,813 -65% 352 2,181 10,628,782
6 MENTAL MA15+ UNIVERSAL 2 729,616 -33% 266 2,743 2,811,331
7 KILLING THEM SOFTLY MA15+ HOYTS/STUDIOCANAL 1 664,552 N/A 165 4,028 676,389
8 DIARY OF A WIMPY KID PG FOX 4 379,045 -74% 215 1,763 7,867,158
9 ARBITRAGE MA15+ MADMAN 3 353,490 -32% 99 3,571 1,997,490
10 THE WORDS M BECKER 1 137,936 N/A 76 1,815 139,317

LIMITED RELEASE TOP TEN

THIS FILM TITLE C/SHIP DISTRIBUTOR WEEKS BOX OFFICE SCREENS SCREENS TOTAL BO
WEEK IN RELEASE THIS WEEKEND $ THIS WEEKEND AVG $ TO DATE $
1 MONSIEUR LAZHAR M PALACE 6 49,923 33 1,513 1,116,291
2 SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN M MADMAN 2 45,626 7 6,518 131,326
3 ENGLISH VINGLISH PG EROS AUSTRALIA 2 39,684 10 3,968 128,927
4 BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN M ICON 5 29,136 41 711 574,239
5 WUTHERING HEIGHTS MA15+ PARAMOUNT/TRANSMISSION 1 26,045 10 2,605 56,001
6 ON THE ROAD MA15+ ICON 3 25,877 21 1,232 304,043
7 SHADOW DANCER M POTENTIAL/EAGLE ENTERTAINMENT 1 25,238 16 1,577 25,238
8 LORE MA15+ PARAMOUNT/TRANSMISSION 4 19,258 16 1,204 269,155
9 3D DUE WEST: OUR SEX R18+ DREAM MOVIE 4 13,254 6 2,209 198,183
10 BERNIE M MADMAN 9 13,019 12 1,085 571,260