Harry Potter tops Oz box office year once again

Columns

The year has come to an end, and the top 10 box office films in Australia, as has happened several times, are easily led by Harry Potter. Only one Australian film made the top 10, Red Dog, which spent an incredible 17 weeks in the top 20 and comes in at number nine. The latest Twilight film had only just opened as we went to press and is sure to move up a couple of spots. Figures are in Australian dollars, which are currently very close to the U.S.

$52.6 m Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
$37.4 m Transformers: Dark of the Moon
$32.7 m The Hangover Part II
$27.3 m Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
$27.1 m Bridesmaids
$25.3 m Fast and Furious 5 (as it as called Down Under)
$24.0 m The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 (total as of Dec. 5)
$22.2 m Tangled
$21.3 m Red Dog
$20.2 m Cars 2

Despite their success in the U.S., the Madea films are not released to cinemas in Australia, and many were surprised when The Help was released and did a very nice $7.7 million. Woody Allen also had his first success in many years, with Midnight in Paris surpassing $6 million.

The first of the year’s gongs have been announced, with Red Dog sweeping the IF Awards, winning Best film and five more honors. The Australian Film Institute presents its inaugural trophies on Jan. 31. The Hunter, starring WIllem Dafoe, leads the nominations with 14, followed by Fred Schepisi's The Eye of the Storm (12), the serial-killer tale Snowtown with 10 nominations and Red Dog capturing eight. The other two films nominated for Best Feature are Mad Bastards and Oranges and Sunshine.

A week after Happy Feet 2 debuted with lower-than-expected numbers in the U.S., the Australian production company Dr. D let go several hundred employees. But many of these may find work with Animal Logic, which is making an untitled 3D animated Lego feature for Warner Bros.

With Roger Ebert putting his TV show on hiatus, many U.S. commentators are predicting the end of the movie-review show on TV. Here in Australia, “The Movie Show” with Margaret Pomerantz and David Stratton has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and will be continuing on national broadcaster ABC.

Many cinemas have had special seniors’ film screenings to great success. One cinema had a shortage of suitable product and programmed Horrible Bosses. Many seniors walked out, complaining that the film was far too gross for them. The bad publicity went nationwide.

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