Well, that was a quick reign for Napoleon, with the Hunger Games prequel jumping back to the top spot in Week 3 of release. Props to Warner Bros for backing Bottoms, an original story with nary a name cast, made by an exciting new female voice, but the box office says otherwise. Same goes for Uproar, a beautifully made crowdpleaser from the other side of the ditch, which struggled despite its success on home turf. But the big story for the third week in a row is the staying power of promising young woman Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, which continues to increase its box office haul every respective weekend.
Fascinating to see 2 Apple TV+ funded feature films – Napoleon and Killers of the Flower Moon – that have been given a proper release window before hitting streaming, doing so well at the box office. They’ll hardly recoup the cost of making and releasing, but as profile raisers, this must offer an alternative model to other streamers for a cinematic release. Speaking of ‘Insert Name’ Originals, Australia’s own The Royal Hotel is touted as a Binge Original – not originally, after production, but still… which hasn’t done so well on opening weekend, pipped at the post by 1-off screenings of a Carl Barron special. Saltburn, though, continues to attract audiences into week 2, with the weekend’s smallest drop off, proving that audiences love/hate our Anglo cousins, especially the posh ones.
Despite the online doomsayers, Hunger Games prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes opened strongly, which will unfortunately mean more prequels. Apart from that, the surprisingly wide release of Saltburn saw some sites doing boffo business, whilst too many were DOA – should be interesting to see the screen spread for that one in Week 2. Speaking of DOA, it doesn’t look like Thanksgiving means much to Australian audiences, understandably.
Another lacklustre weekend at the box office, led by The Marvels; audiences must have confused things and stayed home to watch cat videos instead! But seriously, when the highest screen average for a general release is for a reissue of a 40-year-old musical doco, you cannot blame doomsayers for saying that there’s a serious problem with cinema.
Echoing results in the US, the Australian box office slid this weekend, with new releases The Dive, Foe and Bring Him to Me the least disappointing, whilst teenage boys continued to patronise Five Nights at Freddy’s, maintaining that game adaptation’s spot at the top of the charts. Interestingly, PAW Patrol saw a slight bump this weekend, whilst Christopher Nolan movies enjoyed a resurgence due to Sydney IMAX’s belated reopening – apart from the bumper screen average for Interstellar, Inception and the Dark Knight Trilogy also featured in the top 40.
Hello Mr Lillard! Universal didn’t screen it for critics (the kids knew about it, s’all g), but Five Nights at Freddy’s smashed the global box office this weekend. When the reviews came, they were pretty much all scathing, but heck, we live at a time when there is a growing fanbase for 1993’s Super Mario Bros. Other than that, Caravaggio’s Shadow popped big time for a foreign film, no doubt helped by being played in Palace Cinemas, its distributor, whilst the well-reviewed Dumb Money tanked just like it did in the US, and Aussie animation Scary Girl opened ok on wide release on limited sessions. That’s it from us this week, we’re off to the annual movie convention on the Gold Coast tomorrow, to pat all of the exhibitors and film company corporations on the back for getting people back into the cinema.
What a time to be alive!! A Martin Scorsese picture funded by streamer AppleTV+ at #1, a Taylor Swift concert film at #2, an Indian spectacle at #3, two star-driven Netflix films in release (Nyad + Pain Hustlers) but not reporting box office figures… The screen averages are less impressive, pointing to empty theatres apart from optimal early evening and weekend sessions. To quote a 2003 Nancy Meyers film that’s probably trending on a streaming platform today as if it’s a new release, something’s gotta give!
It was all about Tay Tay this weekend, with everything else barely scraping together a $1k screen average. They may not be in the top 20, but Aussie indie Slant landed at #32 with a $1500 screen average, whilst The Nightmare Before Christmas (30th
Anniversary) barely registered on 25 screens at a $515 screen average. One other notable is Oppenheimer, stretching out a lead over Barbie for the first time this weekend, no doubt aided by Sydney IMAX’s opening.
Despite the scathing reviews, and doomsayers predicting that the planned trilogy will not happen, The Exorcist sequel topped the charts, albeit with a lukewarm screen average for an opening weekend. Speaking of screen averages, the 3+ hour long stage play A Little Life had the best of the lot, whilst Shayda, following a triumphant festival run and only showing on high end arthouse screens, disappointed.
It may not have come close to Barbenheimer numbers, but original IP The Creator‘s strong opening bodes well as a reflection of the public’s thirst for quality big screen entertainment. It certainly helped that Disney backed the film in their marketing, and promoting the film’s, um, creator Gareth Edwards at a time when cast (not that they’re that marketable) were unavailable. In other news, school holiday fare is performing particularly well, especially for Paramount; and who would have thunk that TMNT would creep up to a very notable $10m result here without topping the charts at any stage?