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Box Office: Breath modest at box office but keeping interest

David Tiley

Breath still getting oxygen as huge wave of Avengers breaks over the cine-scape.
Box Office: Breath modest at box office but keeping interest

Image: Elizabeth Debicki in Breath

Subjectively, Breath looked like it was in trouble as the 7.00pm screening on Saturday night in Melbourne Central yielded fourteen people in one of the smaller spaces. A few heads lolled, and people curled up for the long haul and wandered away afterwards. 

However, it dropped a moderate 27% and held all but one of its 242 screens. The picture has made $2.415m in two weeks, which counts as mainstream success for an Australian film in these parched days. The $3005/screen is just on the right side of danger, but it is running at number three on the top twenty, a fair bit down on US comedy Life of the Party which has the raw energy of its first week.

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It gets a US release on June 1. Embankment is the sales agent which sold the rights to FilmRise in December 2017. Simon Baker at the time expected a cinema release, but we will have to wait to see what that turns into. 

Avengers: Infinity War is still on topon 675 screens after three weeks and making $7870/screen. That brute has made $53.7m but it dropped by 47% so there is hope that it might dribble away and create space for something else. 

It is still taking just under half of the top twenty returns, so it dominates the multiplexes. On the back of this one film the weekend returns hurtled skywards to double returns for the same weekend last year, but that 47% loss dragged it down well under the norm for this time of the year. Exhibitors are on a roller coaster and very grateful for the avenging money earner. 

Avengers: Infinity War has now passed $1.33b around the world, which Box Office Mojo says is a first for a superhero film. That number does not include China, where it seems to have taken $266m, which is the second highest opening gross ever for a film in that market. It is the top film for the year so far, while April in general was a record breaking month. It is the combo of Avengers and Black Panther, also a superhero film. 

The top US grosses in AU$ so far are Black Panther on $925m, then Avengers with $729m, A Quiet Place with $226m, and Ready Player One at $178m. 

The world total for A Quiet Place is $360m off a $23m budget; production company Platinum Dunes will be squealing with delight though they do pretty well in general. 

The next film, at number five in the week's top twenty, is Peter Rabbit with $153m. The first time since the invention of the Akubra that a rabbit has been a benefit to the Australian economy. The bunny has now made $441m around the world including a moderate $35m from China. Here it is filling out the daytime slots for kids at $946/per screen after eight weeks and down to 197 screens. But the total is a satisfying $26.2m. It is still at number nine in the Australian league table. 

Still on the Oz front, Gurrumul has passed $500,000 and is still doing $2000/per on 31 screens after three weeks, which is satisfying for Madman. And Midnight Oil 1984, which Madman pumped out on 83 screens, did $190,000 so far at $2112/screen. 

About the author

David Tiley is the editor of Screen Hub.

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