No bang for buck: White House Down tops sinking box office

Paranoia, starring Gary Oldman, Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford, failed to gain traction at the box office.Jobs takes a small byte out of box office earningsFull movies coverage
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The film distributors took out the trash last week, with the films that the North American summer rejected pitched onto a quiet, election weekend, in the hope Australia might mistake one of them for fresh produce.

The result was the worst box office weekend of the year.

White House Down suffered in the US for releasing in the shadow (and stench) of the remarkably similarly plotted (if vastly inferior) flick Olympus Has Fallen, making a weak debut in June.

The extra time granted to the film was of some benefit as it easily dominated the Australian box office on the weekend with a $1.8 million haul, with almost double the takings of the nearest film.

That said, in North America the film opened against the success story that was The Heat, whereas in Australia the competition was, shall we say, less impressive.

Paranoia, starring Australia’s Liam Hemsworth alongside Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, had an even worse time in North America, laying claim to the unenviable title of being the worst wide release of the year. It opened in 13th position in the middle of last month. Australia clearly got the message as the film stumbled into 10th position on its opening to take a meagre $144,000 for the weekend.

The impact of these flaccid releases was to drag box office revenue for the weekend to $7.6 million for the 93 films – 14 per cent worse than the previous weekend and the lowest for the year.

But films such as Now You See Me (down 30 per cent) and We’re The Millers (down 19 per cent) held their positions with very soft declines in ticket revenue.

One new release that had something to crow about was The Gatekeepers, the documentary about six former heads of Israel’s counter-terrorist security agency. It brought in $26,000, which sounds low, but the film screened in only four cinemas, making for a respectable screen average.

The results weren’t as good for the other high-profile documentary, Salinger, which took $19,000 on a wider release of 22 screens.Australian box office (September 6-8)The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

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