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Australian Films Box Office May Scorecard: A Solid Start to the Year

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1 JUNE 2018

Australian feature films and feature documentaries released in cinemas have a good shot at beating the 2017 calendar year total of $49.4 million, judging by the results for the first five months.

W hile Will Gluck’s Peter Rabbit is the stand-out thus far, Simon Baker’s Breath and Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country have made good money and Paul Damien Williams’ Gurrumul has performed well as a feature doc.

The upcoming line-up looks promising, most notably for Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai, Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black, Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner’s Nekromancer, Kriv Stenders’ Danger Close, Owen Trevor’s Go Karts, Sophie Hyde’s Animals and Steven Vidler’s Standing Up for Sunny.

Meanwhile Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy and Punch, Abe Forsythe’s Little Monsters, Marion Pilowsky’s The Flip Side (formerly The Call Back), Ben Hackworth’s Celeste, Grant Sputore’s I Am Mother, Dan Phillips’ Awoken and Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies are among those which have break-out potential.

Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding, Rachel Ward’s Palm Beach, Shawn Seet’s Storm Boy and Rachel Griffiths’ Ride Like a Girl are scheduled for 2019, which on paper could make that an even bigger year.

The Oz titles released in cinemas plus small contributions from holdovers racked up $37.6 million through Wednesday, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA).

Co-produced by Animal Logic Entertainment, Peter Rabbit has generated $26.4 million for Sony. The worldwide total is $US341.1 million - more than enough for the studio to greenlight a sequel.

Released by Roadshow, Breath pocketed $3.6 million in four weeks and will surpass $4 million while Sweet Country collected $2 million for Transmission. Gurrumul has brought in $671,000 in five weeks for Madman Entertainment. Produced by See Pictures and Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Productions, Breath opens today in the US via FilmRise.

Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling’s debut feature Cargo had limited theatrical exposure via Umbrella Entertainment, taking $59,000, but will potentially reach a wide audience in the rest of the world thanks to Netflix.

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