Australia lacklustre in Australia?
For a film which is essentially about a country, Australia's world opening weekend in the country that the film features hasn't really done as well as expected, and while box office reports are strong, they aren't amazing, and that's surprising considering it's opening in thirty more screens than Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End did.
Although I don't think it's going to be reflective of its performance over time and especially overseas, it does surprise that Australia hasn't welcomed the film with a bigger weekend opening.
Of course there are other factors to consider, but opening with so many screens and having a five day weekend which started on a Wednesday – yes, that really is stretching it – it's had all the chances it would need.
Look at the cast, the epic story, the writer/director and his desire to make something that told a story about Australia, five days for a weekend, more cinemas than ever, wouldn't that make it do well?
Not according to Variety. While the takings are strong and exit polls in independent cinemas are showing that the audiences are enjoying the film and not bothered by two hours and forty-five minutes, media reporters at cinemas are finding that they are far from full and the story even says they are finding them half empty.
Fox Australia's marketing man at the top, Marc Wooldridge, says:
“Comparisons with Quantum of Solace opening weekend, or any big Hollywood franchise for that matter, while fun and juicy for the media I don't think are realistic or terribly relevant...The audience profile for 'Australia' is quite different, as is the trend for Baz's movies in the past.”
Yes, but it's in Australia, it's an epic tale of Australia with huge Australian actors, and given that the studio gave it the biggest opening in cinemas that they could, way bigger than the blockbusters we're not to compare it against, then I would suggest they too thought it would be much bigger.
However the Variety article does balance it out. The ticket sales are two times that of Moulin Rouge and over three times that of Romeo and Juliet, and it took in AU $0.3million more than Quantum of Solace (Filmstalker review) did, although I imagine that isn't really too hard considering that film.