It was a busy Queen’s Birthday long weekend at the Australian box office, with the top six films all making over $1 million each. There was something for everyone at the movies this past weekend, and audiences spread the love over a diverse range of films. In a cinematic showdown between two vastly different films, the adaptation of author John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars took the top spot with $3.77 million, with Tom Cruise’s latest sci-fi action pic Edge of Tomorrow coming in close behind with $3.02 million. Fault was always going to be a tough one to beat. Green’s novel is a worldwide best-seller, and fans have been eagerly anticipating the film for a long time. The film also took the top spot in the US with a US$48 million debut weekend, giving it one of the best openings ever for a contemporary drama. The tearjerker has been receiving positive reviews and should continue to do solid business as word of mouth spreads and fans go back for another viewing.
Edge of Tomorrow was a tougher sell for audiences. Tom Cruise has had a rough time over the past decade with details from his personal life often overshadowing his films. Despite this, Cruise’s performances continually remind us that he still has what it takes, and his commitment to his action roles can’t be denied. Last year’s Oblivion received a lukewarm reception despite Cruise giving a solid performance. The trailers for Edge struggled to distinguish the film from the myriad of other futuristic sci-fi action films, and the time loop concept looked quite generic. It comes as a bit of a surprise then that Edge is actually a fantastic movie, and is a much fresher take on the sci-fi/action genre than was expected. The fact that the film took in over $3 million over the weekend proved that Aussie audiences have definitely not tired of Cruise, and the film should hopefully stick around as positive word of mouth spreads. You can read our Carina Nilma’s positive review here. The film has also opened strongly in international markets where Cruise is an even bigger star than he is at home, and the film should end up being a worldwide financial and critical success for Warner Bros and Roadshow.
Rounding out the top five were Disney’s fairytale re-imagining Maleficent, which took $2.68 million in its second weekend. Audiences are clearly loving Angelina Jolie in the title role. Fourth spot was taken by X-Men: Days of Future Past, which has been a huge hit for Fox and is likely to continue its successful run for another few weeks at least. It is incredible that the fifth spot on the chart was taken by Dreamwork’s much anticipated animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, given the fact that the film was only available as advanced screenings at select cinemas. The 2010 original is already a beloved classic and audiences are obviously keen to see the continued adventures of Hiccup and Toothless. Expect the film to have a massive opening when it officially debuts on June 19th.
|#||Film Title||Distributor||Box Office|
|1||THE FAULT IN OUR STARS||FOX||$3,776,246|
|2||EDGE OF TOMORROW||ROADSHOW||$3,023,910|
|4||X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST||FOX||$2,198,050|
|5||HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2||FOX||$2,015,764|
|6||A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST||UNIVERSAL||$1,203,812|
|8||GRACE OF MONACO||ENTERTAINMENT ONE||$542,141|
|9||THE TRIP TO ITALY||MADMAN||$456,218|
This is a big week for Australian film, with the official release of David Michôd’s The Rover, his first film since 2010’s critically acclaimed Animal Kingdom. The Rover is set in the Australian outback ten years after the collapse of society and stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and has also received praise at the Sydney Film Festival. The film looks to be the sort of high quality production that allows the incredible talents of Australian film-makers to be seen all over the world. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, the new Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore family comedy Blended will also be released this week. The last two times Sandler and Barrymore teamed up (for The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates) resulted in a bit of lighthearted fun, and Blended will hopefully repeat the same success.
The Rover and Blended will be in theaters around the country from Thursday. How to Train Your Dragon 2 will be officially released on June 19th, but you can catch the film at more advanced screenings around the country this weekend.
All figures from The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia and Box Office Mojo.