Australian Box Office Report: Fifty Shades Darker hits all the right buttons this week, pushing Lion off its perch

You know that the natural order of the world has been restored when a film featuring sexy time does better than a film about a man searching for his birth mother. Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, premiered in theatres this weekend and promptly took its place at the top of the box office charts, bringing in an impressive $6.16m in its opening week. It’s available at just over 600 screens nationwide, putting it in the same ballpark as Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (November 2016) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (released December 2016).

In Dakota Johnson’s sex-crazed wake lies Lion, now in 2nd place on the box office ladder. Still earning a huge $2.44m almost a month after its release, the critically acclaimed film (just enjoying some BAFTA success) is on track to be in the top 10 of Australian-produced box office successes (for comparison’s sake, this will sit alongside films like Crocodile Dundee, Babe and Mad Max).

# Film Title Distributor Box Office
1 FIFTY SHADES DARKER UNIVERSAL 6,164,803
2 LION TRANSMISSION 2,445,430
3 SPLIT UNIVERSAL 1,614,867
4 PATRIOTS DAY ROADSHOW 719,191
5 LA LA LAND ENTERTAINMENT ONE 512,849
6 MANCHESTER BY THE SEA UNIVERSAL 411,235
7 XXX 3: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE PARAMOUNT 387,231
8 MOANA WALT DISNEY 370,489
9 FENCES PARAMOUNT 317,638
10 RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER SONY PICTURES 288,554

The James McAvoy thriller Split has also dropped down the box office ladder, from no. 2 last week to no. 3 this week. It earned $1.61m this week, ahead, again, of Patriots Day, which also dropped this week. Sitting at no. 3 last week, it is now at no. 4 and earned $719k at the box office.

We should see Matt Damon’s epic The Great Wall and Taraji P. Henson’s Hidden Figures, on the box office ladder next week. Like Lion, the latter has earned quite a few award nominations and wins.

All figures from The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia and Box Office Mojo.