The Aussie Summer Holidays Are Upon Us – What’s Gonna Be Happening Down At The Movies?

Australia is about to head into the most lucrative holiday frame on the calendar for cinema and what a summer it’s going to be. Not for a long time has there been as many pedigree pictures releasing between December 26 and January 31. In fact, with suggested hold overs in play, Australia is going to see no less than 28 new films go into the market. A lot of the films I’ve not seen so I’m just throwing a few thoughts around as

Here’s the releases of what I think you’ll see kicking around during the school holidays this Australian Summer and when they’re landing at Cinemas.

Film Release Date
007 Skyfall 22/11/2012
Pitch Perfect 06/12/2012
Rise Of The Guardians 13/12/2012
Paris Manhattan 13/12/2012
All You Need Is Love 13/12/2012
Liberal Arts 13/12/2012
The Guillotines 20/12/2012
3D The Hobbit 26/12/2012
Les Miserables 26/12/2012
Parental Guidance 26/12/2012
Quartet 26/12/2012
3D Wreck-It Ralph 26/12/2012
Sightseers 26/12/2012
Samsara 26/12/2012
3D Life Of Pi 01/01/2013
Jack Reacher 03/01/2013
3D Paranorman 10/01/2013
Gangster Squad 10/01/2013
Hitchcock 10/12/2013
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger 17/01/2013
3D Monsters Inc Re Issue 17/01/2013
This Is 40 17/01/2013
Guilt Trip 24/01/2013
The Impossible 24/01/2013
Django Unchained 24/01/2013
Zero Dark Thirty 31/01/2013
Silver Linings Playbook 31/01/2013
Flight 31/01/2013


hr_Skyfall_62007 SKYFALL is easily gonna play right through school holidays as its bearing down on $40m and should happily head into the early $40m’s before it bows out. Theres no stopping this puppy – I had this pegged as the rival to 2008’s The Dark Knight ($45m) and Skyfall has every chance of making it there as long as it can hold sessions when January kicks in. Aza’s Prediction – $43m


pitch_perfect_ver5PITCH PERFECT is also the one that’s gonna stick around all the way through School Holidays. Go down the list of films and ask yourself this question: What is there for young girls / teen girls? Outside of a small proportion of LES MIS fans there’s nothing for them so by that fact alone PITCH PERFECT is going to bat well above its grade. The other major drawcard this film has over everything else is that it’s a broad comedy which means its attracting older cinema goers as well. Aza’s Prediction – $15m

rise_of_the_guardians_ver123D RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, Paramount Pictures have always had success on mid December dates with animated releases (MEGAMIND, MADAGASCAR 2, FLUSHED AWAY, BEE MOVIE) and have never delivered anything under $10m from that date. The added bonus this summer is that there’s a real lack of major choice for animated fare targetted at kids outside of WRECK-IT RALPH and PARANORMAN. As the U.S. box office is proving at the moment, GUARDIANS might not open like a juggernaut but it’ll hold and play right through. Aza’s Prediction – $12m

paris_manhattan_ver2PARIS MANHATTAN, Palace Films little french confection for summer is another one of those proven dates for the distributor. Last years WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR grossed over $2m on the same date and this one should be able to climb up there. Add into that the cheeky little tactic of putting the same font that Woody Allen uses for his films on this one and that’s a nice little subtle push too.  Aza’s Prediction – $2m


Love Is All You NeedALL YOU NEED IS LOVE is Susanne Bier’s romantic comedy for 40 somethings that half English / Half Dutch. I don’t see this firing at all. I hear the film is good but the corridor is jam packed with upscale, older playing skew fare that this one is going to open and close in pretty quick fashion unless it kicks a goal this weekend. Aza’s Prediction – $300,000


liberal_arts_ver3LIBERAL ARTS, indie former university student now in his 30’s goes back to visit and meets a 19 year old girl and they share a connection. I don’t even see an audience for this. Sure it’s Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) and has some nice supporting actors in Zac Efron and Richard Franklin but this belongs in a University semester period. It’s gonna open and close and be forgotten about in 3 weeks. Aza’s Prediction – $150,000


DECEMBER 20, 2012

The GuillotinesTHE GUILLOTINES is the newbie for Icon’s martial arts label. This is so skewed that it’ll open a print in the major cities and be gone in two weeks. Aza’s Prediction – $100,000




DECEMBER 26, 2012

The Hobbit Poster3D THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – the big summer flick, with the bonus 3D and IMAX, should be able to scale $40m before Bilbo gets 33% the way through his adventure. All eyes on NZ and the U.S. as the film opens on Friday there. It’ll be here, there, it’ll be EVERYWHERE! Aza’s Prediction $40m+


les_miserables_ver2LES MISERABLES is a’comin’ and I’ve been really ballsy and said $30,000,000 at the Aussie Box Office. If it goes that high then it will be the highest grossing musical of all time here and will also be the 2nd film from Tom Hoopers 2 films that has grossed over $30m in Australia. How’s that for a stat on your Linked In Page? Coming in 10 minutes shorter than THE HOBBIT and awards season driving the buzz I can’t see how it won’t hit $30m. (That, and the film delivers!) Aza’s Ballsy Prediction $30m

wreckit_ralph_ver123D WRECK IT RALPH – if you went back 6 months ago no-one was really sure what this was going to be. But with a premise that mirrors TOY STORY, channeling arcade games from the 8-Bit days to now, Disney have delivered a 4 quadrant comedy that’s going to get kids, teens and adults for the basic fact that everyone can identify with computer gaming. This will be the #1 kids choice in the animated game stakes, it’ll nab geeky bogans like me (I’m a little bit older than a kid) and should hold that title right through Jan. Aza’s Prediction $28m

parental_guidance_ver2PARENTAL GUIDANCE is the family entry for Christmas that I’m a bit perplexed by. I get that its got Bette Midler and Billy Crystal but my question on this one is – who is the audience for it? The oldies might go cause of Bette & Billy but the kids or young adults won’t because who wants to watch a movie about Grandparents looking after kids? Unless its exceptionally off the wall fun this is the softest wide release in the frame. (If you asked your kids what movie they’d wanna see between WRECK IT RALPH, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, THE HOBBIT, PARANORMAN, MONSTERS INC or PARENTAL GUIDANCE – which one are they going to choose?) Aza’s Prediction $8m

quartet_ver3QUARTET limited upscale older player has a bit of competition out there with LES MIS in the market place but with yet another pedigree cast in Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and directed by Dustin Hoffman its a stay and player. This is a limited release title that will cruise along and maintain box office week in week out as its audience seeks it out. Moreover in support of its chances is that the film is a gentile comedy and the only one that plays to our ever growing seniors market. Aza’s Prediction $4m

sightseersSIGHTSEERS, The Ben Wheatley Award Winning Black Comedy could go one of two ways – it could go the way of THE GUARD, surprise everyone and gross $1m over summer. Or it might not. This will be all dependent on screens and how much cut through its got in the shadows of QUARTET & PARIS MANHATTAN. SIGHTSEERS doesn’t play to those markets specifically but it’s all about space for it to play. Aza’s Prediction $500,000

samsaraSAMSARA goes out ultra limited and this visual documentary will deliver strong screen averages off the strategy. Aza’s Prediction $300,000




JANUARY 1, 2013

life_of_pi_ver103D LIFE OF PI, the gimmick of the New Years Day Release befalls Ang Lee this year with his much loved 3D visually spectacular adaptation of LIFE OF PI. Another awards calibre pedigree picture, the film has gross $60m+ in the States, which by pro rata levels puts it at a $6m result here. Australia tends to perform better with these titles and I think this one will outperform the States to more of an $8m+ result but being how upscale it plays will be the key? Can the weight of the successful book convince a wider audience to come along? Aza’s prediction $9m

JANUARY 3, 2013

Jack Reacher PosterJACK REACHER – Diss him or kiss him Tom Cruise in action vehicles over Summer work. Last years MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL was the highest performing entry in the series ever here (and globally) so there’s every chance this one will work too. We’ve seen the reviews go out yesterday calling it a satisfying old school actioner and if you look down the release schedule there is no other out and out wide action release in there until DJANGO UNCHAINED. Aza’s Prediction $14m

JANUARY 10, 2013

paranorman-poster3D PARANORMAN the last of the new kids film releases for the summer period should drum up the CORALINE crowd pretty well and might keep very young kids away for its supernatural elements. I hope it doesn’t as the film is really sweet, very funny and bold enough to demystify death. Its fighting chance is that it’ll be the youngest animated flick in the market place. Aza’s Prediction $4m


gangster_squad_ver7GANGSTER SQUAD, which was originally to go out in October but was moved to January to reshoot a sequence after the horrific events in Aurora earlier this year at THE DARK KNIGHT RISES opening screening, is coming to town and with that cast and how classy it looks this should be a $10m+ winner. But here’s the curve ball – the state of violent MA rated flicks in Australia hasn’t been pretty (Lawless, Savages, Killing Them Softly, Dredd) and none of them, outside of LOOPER, grossed over $3m. LOOPER was a smash and cracked $10m. Aza’s Prediction $10m

Hitchcock 6HITCHCOCK is another pedigree upscale release. That phenomenal cast lead by Anthony Hopkins will drive its performance in the Suburban upscales and art houses but my question is how is it going to fare in the broader multiplexes? Does anyone under the age of 40 even know who Alfred Hitchcock is in Australia and more so do they care? ‘He’s some bulbous fat dude that made movies right?’ There’s an angle with Toni Collette being in the film that will help it here and hopefully some awards attention for the performances will drive up its position in the market place. Aza’s Prediction $4m

JANUARY 17, 2013

You Will Meet A Tall Dark StrangerYOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, the 3 year old Woody Allen film that we all forgot about, finally gets a guernsey and you’ll see this in the upscales and arthouses. With Naomi Watts and another Anthony Hopkins starrer this should happily click into that $400k-$600k range – more of a MELINDA & MELINDA than a MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. Aza’s Prediction $400,000


MonstersInc3D3D MONSTERS INC REISSUE – to warm up your cockles for MONSTERS UNIVERSITY in JUNE! These 3D re-issues underperform here compared to the U.S. but I think the sheer good will on this one will see it perform a bit better. Have you noticed how all the animated films in play are either about monsters, monsters in games, or fairy tale characters fighting each other? We’re certainly playing in the darker side of children’s entertainment this year! Aza’s Prediction – $4m

This Is 40THIS IS 40 is Judd Apatow’s newest flick about the trials and tribulations of a 40 year old married couple. At 134 minutes its not short but it does play older female which is always a strong sign for the Aussie market. The question is: Will girls under the age of 40 want to go along? It has a hell of a cast attached to it which will help and it’ll be the first wide comedic release since PARENTAL GUIDANCE. That’s the trump card right there people – the audience will have been starved for a laffer having seen PITCH PERFECT (well sort of) and QUARTET (well sort of too..) Aza’s Prediction $8m

JANUARY 24, 2013

The Guilt TripTHE GUILT TRIP – it’s Babs and Seth as mother and son on a road trip that goes to hell. Another broad comedy with a strong female skew bolstered by a younger audience hook in Seth Rogen should see this comedy perform. Is this MEET THE FOCKERS light? Aza’s Prediction $8m



impossible_ver5THE IMPOSSIBLE – The Tsunami Disaster flick that’s winning raves for Naomi Watts finally unleashes in Australia. It’ll get a lot of awards attention and the big question will be – are audiences willing to go along for the heady and evocative drama that this is? I think the local angle is really going to help, the social conscience of it is a bonus and the awareness of such a contemporary reality that is tsunami’s are all strengths that this pic has on its side. Aza’s Prediction – $2m If Naomi gets nominated then $3m

django_unchained_ver9DJANGO UNCHAINED – Its QT. Everyone is hanging for it. The reviews are rapturous and the date is perfect. It’s a big, violent, star studded winner. Aza’s Prediction $14m




JANUARY 31, 2013

zero_dark_thirty_ver4ZERO DARK THIRTY – The already multi-award winning flick on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden by Kathryn Bigelow which is nabbing Best Picture almost everywhere might have enough steam behind it to go a bit wider than what I first thought. Having said that though, it is an Iraq war referential film and they’ve not worked in the past. Nor have the 9/11 films. BUT having said that Kathryn Bigelow’s prior film THE HURT LOCKER performed better in Australia than it did anywhere else in the world – so there’s good things on side for this. Add to that Jason Clarke and Joel Edgerton in the flick (both Aussies) and there’s a few playable angles here. Its 154 minutes though – can your butt withstand it? – Aza’s Prediction $5m

silver_linings_playbook_ver4SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK to me is this years THE DESCENDANTS. The cast is strong, the reviews are even stronger, it crosses all demographics bar kids and has a woman front and centre. Our very own Jacki Weaver is in it (tick!) and its dated right on the Golden Globe awards and into the lead up to Oscars! Its gonna work! Aza’s Prediction $12m


Flight_661_AustraliaFLIGHT – Robert Zemekis’ provocative flick about a high functioning addict has been lauded for delivering Denzel Washington’s best on screen performance in decades. Again positioned at the Golden Globes and the lead up to Oscars – this pedigree title is a water cooler flick if ever there was one and should be a solid national performer here too. Aza’s Prediction $6m