Box Office Report: Aussies flood cinemas to see Russell Crowe in Noah.

Russell Crowe as Noah

It must be a big relief to the studio heads at Paramount to see Darren Aronofsky’s Noah do so well around the world in its opening weekend. The film has been plagued by behind the scenes struggles and religious controversy. But it seems that Australian audiences were not deterred by any of this, as the film easily took top spot at the box office over the weekend with an incredible AU$4.5 million. In comparison, this is 30% higher than the opening of last year’s hugely popular Gravity. Noah, which stars home-grown hero Russell Crowe as the title character and his A Beautiful Mind co-star Jennifer Connelly as his wife, also opened at #1 in the US. It took USD$44 million in its opening weekend there, and looks set to add significantly to that over the next few weeks. The film also had the biggest non-sequel opening EVER in Russia, with a USD$17.2 million opening. Read our review of Noahhere

Opening in second place was Dreamworks Animation’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman, with AU$2.4 million. The family film has received decent reviews and is a solid choice for parent looking to take their kids to the movies, and is currently nearing the USD$100 million mark at the US box office. George Clooney’s The Monuments Men also added a hefty AU$1.2 million to its already impressive total.

All the talk of the worldwide box office this weekend is about Disney’s Frozen, which just keeps getting bigger and bigger. By taking USD$7.5 million in its third weekend in Japan, the animated phenomenon hit USD$1.072 billion worldwide, reaching two major milestones. By overtaking Toy Story 3, which sits at USD$1.063 billion, the film has now become the highest grossing animated film of all time! And not only that, it has now overtaken Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest to become the 10th highest-grossing movie of all time! Frozen now has a serious chance of settling into the #8 spot, which is currently held by Skyfall. A bit further than that and it will overtake The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. This is crazy!

Noah (NEW)
Mr. Peabody and Sherman (NEW)
The Monuments Men
Ride Along
Need For Speed
300: Rise of an Empire
Cuban Fury
The Wolf of Wall Street

It will be genuinely exciting to see which film takes the #1 spot this coming weekend, as this week sees the release of two likely box office smashes. The first is the greatly anticipated The LEGO Movie. The Australian-made animated film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and has already made USD$400 million worldwide. Expect this one to make an absolute killing at the Australian box office. Challenging The LEGO Movie’s chance at the #1 spot is the latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The first Captain America film, released in 2011, was relatively well received and made a respectful amount at the box office. However, each Marvel film since 2012 has benefited from a post-Avengers box office boost, so expect The Winter Soldier to improve on the first film’s takings. At this stage my money is on a LEGO victory, but we can never underestimate the power of Marvel.

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