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Box Office Report: Jackson And Friends Claim The Top Spot

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Kris Polglase
Kris Polglase
District 9

The Peter Jackson effect once again rocked New Zealand cinema’s this week with his producing credit helping District 9 top the kiwi box office.

Rising like a phoenix out of the ashes of his aborted Halo movie adaption, debut director Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 rode a wave of great pre-release anticipation and slick marketing to easily top the second weekend of Gi Joe. Mimicking its number one debut in America, District 9 has already made a profit for distributors Sony and the open ending leaves plenty of room for a District 10 in a couple of years.

District 9 again proved the value of the Jackson brand at home and abroad. After the critical and commercial success of The Lord of The Rings trilogy Jackson has been able to purloin his kudos into a number of projects including District 9. With The Lovely Bones due on Boxing Day and The Hobbit films in 2011 and 2012, Jackson looks to continue his golden touch into the foreseeable future.
Holding up very well, for the type of film that it is, Gi Joe dropped by a moderate 40% to be bumped off the top spot and into second. Amassing a rugged $374,000, the Joes look likely to spend a few more successful turns at New Zealand cinemas before the school holidays gives them another likely boost in September.
Slipping a scant 16% Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince enjoyed another weekend in the top three. Five weeks into its spell, the boy wizard has dominated July and August and sunk another $5.5 Million into the most lucrative film franchise on the planet. Potter was again followed by Johnny and his Public Enemies in fourth. Performing better during weekdays (Public Enemies has actually been tracking ahead of the sixth Potter flick), the Michael Mann film looks to crack the $1 Million mark in the next couple of days.
Debuting on the back of an extensive marketing campaign by Madman, Sunshine Cleaning, well, cleaned up in fifth place this weekend. Directed by New Zealander Christine Jeffs, Sunshine Cleaning produced exceptional results for an independent film and helped add to the New Zealand flavor at the box office this week.
Continuing that theme, Separation City dropped a mere 16.5% into sixth and looks to become a tidy earner for Hoyts. Sitting in seventh was the stop-motion extravaganza Coraline. Benefiting from some terrible weekend weather, the Nightmare Before Christmas follow-up showed enough strength to pull in over $100,000 and beat last weekend’s tally.
The world cinema smash Coco Avant Chanel followed in eighth place, also increasing from last week’s result. The French hit again gained the largest per-theatre average and piled another remarkable $85,000 into its overall box office. Ice Age 3 was overtaken by the boy wizard this week in total terms but has still managed to pull in over $5.3 Million, benefitting from the surcharge associated with limited 3D screenings of the film.
Rounding out the top ten was Warners stunningly long-legged The Hangover. Spending its TENTH week in the top ten, the buddy comedy prevented Transformers 2 from staying in the top ten by a mere $31! Outside the top ten, Renee Zellwegger’s Case 39 opened poorly, while Bruno also dropped out of the top ten.
The overall box office just managed to miss last year’s result, but has a great chance of smashing 2008 when Tarantino and Pitt unite for Inglorious Basterds and the 2009 Academy Award  Best Foreign Film, Departures, opens.


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