This Week At The Box Office: Who gets the last laugh?

With the school holidays behind us, it looks like cinemagoers are done with the cartoons and ready for some good old fashioned sex and violence.

 Hustlers made a big play in its first week on Aussie screens, bringing in a screen average of $7,662 across 368 screens. The Joker still had the last laugh, though, holding the top spot with an overall weekend taking of $7,439,024 in its second week in release. That’s a screen average of $13,751 over 541 screens. 

Speaking of things getting crazier out there, Ang Lee’s confounding latest, Gemini Man, debuted just behind Hustlers. The action thriller brought in $4,091 across 370 screens, for a total taking of $1,513,794, Proving once more that all people really want is to see Will Smith and a lot of explosions, and everything else is set-dressing,

2014 might have been the last Year of the Horse, but this is clearly the era of the horse girl; Now in its third week in release, Ride Like a Girl is still going strong! The film showed on an addition 16 screens, to bring in $4,521 across 289 screens. The equine extravaganza raked in a primo weekend taking of $1,306,442. With an overall box office taking of $7,567,624 so far, there’s no way to slow this winner down. 

The school holiday offerings are still bringing in audiences, though, even now the kids are back in class. Next on the roster are the friendly yetis of Abominable. The Dreamworks’ flick showed on 28 screens fewer than last week, still bringing in $1,146,046 across 274 screens. That’s a screen average of $4,183. The Angry Birds Movie 2 also has its terrible claws deep in the charts, though its appeal is starting to dwindle; the feature lost 70 screens this week, and brought in an average of $3,157 across its 285 screens, closely followed by Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which lost 48 screens, to bring in a screen average of $2,757 across its remaining 259 screens. 

Hot on the heels of a series of Emmy wins, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag hits the silver screen in its original theatrical form. The play, performed by Waller-Bridge, streamed live from the National Theatre to 37 screens around the country. The live performance brought in a tasty screen average of $6,029, for a total taking of $223,077 in its first week, easily dominating the limited release charts. It seems this story resonates in whatever medium it is told. 

There was another live show in the charts this week; S&M by Metallica, performed with the San Francisco Orchestra. It might seem like an odd mix, but production companies were certainly backing it; the show played to 115 Aussie screens. Their confidence might have been a little misplaced; it brought in a screen average of only $1,377. That hurts – and not in a sexy way.

This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, and this is certainly reflected in limited release, where nationalistic tales of success abound.  In its second week, The Captain sits pretty at number two, showing once more on 17 screens, bringing in a screen average of $6,223. If aviation disaster and doesn’t slake your thirst for feats of derring-do, Magnum Films also debuted their Everest epic,The Climbers, on 26 screens. In its first weekend, it brought in a screen average of $3,861. My People, My Country, which celebrates seven memorial moments across the seven decades since the country’s founding, is also going strong in its third week in release, making a screen average of $3,914 across its 27 screens. 

Promised may still be in pre-release but this Australian-Italian drama is turning heads nonetheless. Showing on only 9 screens, the romantic drama brought in a promising (ahem) screen average of $3,948. Featuring a fabulous cast including Paul Mercurio and Tina Arena, we’re excited to see how this diamond shines in release. 

Next up we have another Aussie new release; The Eulogy brought the brilliant and bizarre story of Australian concert pianist, Geoffrey Tozer, to just 15 screens, for a screen average of $1,419. Pretty good takings for a documentary, which did well on the festival circuit. We hope this touching film’s reflection on love, loss, brilliance and bureaucracy continues to find its audience. 

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator who lives in Naarm. They are an assistant curator at ACMI, where they also host the Women & Non-binary gamers club. They write about videogames and the people who make them. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob