Australian Box Office Countdown

#5 – BRIDGE OF SPIES

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Steven Spielberg (the latest person to nab a Presidential Medal of Freedom) and Tom Hanks (the latest person falsely rumoured to appear on Doctor Who) unite again for a courtroom drama set in the Cold War. It’s created to gain the attention of the Oscars but early reports indicate it’s on the outside looking in.

Supporting cast include Amy Ryan (Birdman, The Wire), Alan Alda (M*A*S*H*) and Mark Rylance (The Other Boleyn Girl). It falls two places this week, edging out The Last Witch Hunter and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocolypse with $470,891, taking it’s total to $6.4 million after a month.

#4 PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO

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It’s rare than a film not in English charts in Australia. The last example that crosses my mind was Oscar sweetheart Amour, and even that didn’t do fantastically. Mindblowing Films teamed up with FOX to distribute four of Salman Khan’s films to the world. His nicknames include The Tiger of Bollywood and Blockbuster Khan.

He’s the hero of this film, “a generous man” that embarks to meet a philanthropic princess. As you may imagine, there is much singing and dancing. It scored $606,365 on debut in only thirty-six cinemas nationwide – a hearty effort.

#3 THE MARTIAN

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who faces seemingly insurmountable odds as he tries to find a way to subsist on a hostile planet.

Matt Damon on Mars. Does he make it?

Ridley Scott told outlets this week that he was stuck with writer’s block, unsure of where to go with the Prometheus sequel when somebody rang him and offered him a complete script for the The Martian, based on a very prestigious 2011 novel by Andy Weir. Scott cast Matt Damon and the rest is history. He’s set to film the sequel on the Gold Coast next year – which was once called Alien: Paradise Lost but is now looking to be Alien: Covenant. 

The sprawling cast is pretty noteworthy. Oscars winners and nominees include Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Kristin Wiig turns up and she was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, if that counts. Kate Mara makes the first step towards a better career after the failure of Fantastic Four and Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino AKA Troy from Community gets a role. Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones alum Sean Bean and Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s Sebastian Stan make an appearance. It’s quite the party.

The Martian, which should be billed as an ensemble rather than a Matt Damon with a little bit of Jeff Daniels, collects $615,384 on it’s seventh week. Overall it’s looking at $26.5 million in Australia and $675 million internationally.

#2 THE DRESSMAKER

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After two weeks in the top spot The Dressmaker falls to second place, but still manages a further $2 million even.

Furthermore, it’s cracked the double digits. In the three weeks since it’s released it’s managed a whopping $11.6 million. Starring Kate Winslet of Titanic, Liam Hemsworth of The Hunger Games, Hugo Weaving of The Matrix Trilogy/Captain Ameirca/Priscilla:Queen of the Desert and Sarah Snook of Predestination.

And since there’s not a lot to say about The Dressmaker Novastream has not already comprehensively said, can we give a massive plug for Predestination? Sure. Sarah Snook, Ethan Hawke and one other person are the only people in the entire movie (apart from extras). It’s a brilliant brilliant brilliant film shot in Melbourne over three days and has a fantastic plot that I cannot spoil here. Check out Predestination.

#1 SPECTRE

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Bond is back in vogue, at least commercially.

After the success of Skyfall the follow-up was always going to be a success. MGM and Sony worked very hard to get director Sam Mendes to return for a second round with the blonde Bond Daniel Craig. Once that was secured it was a by-the-numbers photocopy sequel with a twist that… look, read Dylan’s review for more.

Christoph Waltz is the villain of this piece after turns in Tarintino’s Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. He’s done some comedy too – Horrible Bosses 2 and Saturday Night Live – and the 2014 Tim Burton film Big Eyes. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista is wordless grunt Mr Hinx. Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci are the Bond women this time around. Ralph Fiennes, Ben Wishaw and Naomie Harris all return – now officially franchise staples.

After earning three quarters of a billion dollars overseas in the month or so since opening in Britain Spectre collects $11.3 million.

 

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