Columns and Blogs - Day and Date Down Under


Thieves target drive-in in Victoria

July 11, 2012

-By David Pearce


filmjournal/photos/stylus/64439-Pearce_Md.jpg
At its peak, Australia had around 300 drive-in cinemas. Currently only 20 remain open, with several operating weekends only. The Coburg Drive-in in Victoria attracted some unwanted attention last month when three men, two wearing masks and the third with his t-shirt pulled over his head, robbed the cinema box office at 9.30 p.m. They were armed with a crowbar and a machete. The attendant emptied the contents of the till into a cream-colored money bag and the men fled the scene. Police later located the t-shirt but not the offenders. As far as I can recall, this is the first robbery of an Australian drive-in in over 20 years.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift had for many months been scheduled to open on June 28 in Australia, one day before the start of the winter school holidays. However, on June 25 teachers announced that they would strike in New South Wales on Wednesday, June 27. Executives at Twentieth Century Fox Australasia wasted no time. They contacted exhibitors and added some early sessions of the film on that strike Wednesday in Sydney and other NSW centers. Alerting patrons via Facebook and electronic media, Fox announced the early release of the film. Kerryn Tippett, a spokeswoman for Event Cinemas (Greater Union) said that they were adding the extra sessions for school students "looking to be entertained while their teachers strike." This is the first instance I know of in which a film has opened a day early in Australia due to a strike. Ice Age 4 opened at number one for its first weekend with A$4.9 million.

Many Australian actors are enjoying fame and fortune in Hollywood both in film and television. Ryan Kwanten, star of the popular TV series “True Blood,” has been taking a different route. Between filming of “True Blood” seasons, he has been picking lower-budget Australian films over big-budget Hollywood roles. His latest film, Not Suitable for Children, has just opened around Australia after a premiere as opening night at the Sydney International Film Festival. Kwanten plays a guy, who in the prime of his life, learns that he will be infertile in a month. He sets out to find somebody to have a baby with before it is too late. The film had an excellent reception at the festival and the distributor is hoping that translates into strong local box office. Kwanten has just started filming another Australian film, Mystery Road, in Queensland. He plays a pig hunter in the murder mystery, opposite Hugo Weaving and Aaron Pedersen.

E-mail your Australia/New Zealand items to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.


Thieves target drive-in in Victoria

July 11, 2012

-By David Pearce


filmjournal/photos/stylus/64439-Pearce_Md.jpg

At its peak, Australia had around 300 drive-in cinemas. Currently only 20 remain open, with several operating weekends only. The Coburg Drive-in in Victoria attracted some unwanted attention last month when three men, two wearing masks and the third with his t-shirt pulled over his head, robbed the cinema box office at 9.30 p.m. They were armed with a crowbar and a machete. The attendant emptied the contents of the till into a cream-colored money bag and the men fled the scene. Police later located the t-shirt but not the offenders. As far as I can recall, this is the first robbery of an Australian drive-in in over 20 years.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift had for many months been scheduled to open on June 28 in Australia, one day before the start of the winter school holidays. However, on June 25 teachers announced that they would strike in New South Wales on Wednesday, June 27. Executives at Twentieth Century Fox Australasia wasted no time. They contacted exhibitors and added some early sessions of the film on that strike Wednesday in Sydney and other NSW centers. Alerting patrons via Facebook and electronic media, Fox announced the early release of the film. Kerryn Tippett, a spokeswoman for Event Cinemas (Greater Union) said that they were adding the extra sessions for school students "looking to be entertained while their teachers strike." This is the first instance I know of in which a film has opened a day early in Australia due to a strike. Ice Age 4 opened at number one for its first weekend with A$4.9 million.

Many Australian actors are enjoying fame and fortune in Hollywood both in film and television. Ryan Kwanten, star of the popular TV series “True Blood,” has been taking a different route. Between filming of “True Blood” seasons, he has been picking lower-budget Australian films over big-budget Hollywood roles. His latest film, Not Suitable for Children, has just opened around Australia after a premiere as opening night at the Sydney International Film Festival. Kwanten plays a guy, who in the prime of his life, learns that he will be infertile in a month. He sets out to find somebody to have a baby with before it is too late. The film had an excellent reception at the festival and the distributor is hoping that translates into strong local box office. Kwanten has just started filming another Australian film, Mystery Road, in Queensland. He plays a pig hunter in the murder mystery, opposite Hugo Weaving and Aaron Pedersen.

E-mail your Australia/New Zealand items to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.

More Day and Date Down Under

Down Under 05-14
Top four circuits in Australia take 60% of market

The top four film exhibitors, Hoyts, Village, Greater Union-Event and Reading, have increased their hold of the exhibition arena from 52.4% in 2009 to around 60% this year, according to a report by IBISWorld on cinemas in Australia. More »

Down Under 04-14
Adelaide cops sniff out ‘Wolf Creek’ body parts

Special-effects artist Rick Connelly was surprised when disturbed by a posse of five police officers banging on the door of his North Adelaide home. More »

Down Under 03-14
New Zealand is up, Oz is down

New Zealand ended 2013 with a slight increase in box-office receipts for the year. More »

Down Under 02-14
Peter Jackson is Lord of Boxing Day

Boxing Day is the busiest day of the year in cinemas in both Australia and New Zealand. It is also the day that distributors choose to release their major releases for the Down Under school holidays. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Transcendence
Film Review: Transcendence

Johnny Depp is an idealistic researcher whose consciousness is uploaded into an artificial intelligence in this slick techno-thriller with delusions of seriousness from Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer. More »

Draft Day
Film Review: Draft Day

Pro football manager faces crises on the most important day of his career in a well-tooled vehicle for Kevin Costner. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here