Box Office: Malignant brings Australian edge to world figures

James Wan's Malignant does well while Nitram is ignored and Lamb bleats from a back paddock.
frightened woman

Australia is having a genre success! Truly ruley, with a film that cost around $55m to make and has nearly matched that figure in box office, which means it has a long way to go before US production company Atomic Monster Productions makes the bank happy. Our muticultural hero here is James Wan, an Australian of Malaysian Chinese descent, as every horror film lover knows. He and Leigh Whannell created the Saw and Insidious franchises, which makes him a major planetary Fright God. [All figures in AU$]

Warner Bros popped Malignant out on 195 screens in Australia to be rewarded by the end of the weekend with $260,000. The critics like the film. David Stratton, who is no fan of bloodthirsty filmmakers, said, ‘Wan cheerfully draws on the extreme work of horror film aficionados such as David Cronenberg and Dario Argento as he piles on the bloody violence.’ So it has excellent DNA, while other reviewers revel in the ending. Phoenix writer Alison Shoemaker has the best line here: ‘Wan’s final twist is so maniacal and so (and this is a compliment) deeply and thoroughly stupid that it more than makes up for the minor missteps along the way.’

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.