Monday, November 3, 2008

Is Burn After Reading the Most Unlikely 3-Week Box Office Champion?

Answer: Yes!

The Coen Brothers' absurdist comedy Burn After Reading remained at #1 at the Australian box office this past weekend for the third week in a row (src, MPDAA). Isn't that crazy? Surely that's a first for a Coen Bros film anywhere in the world. I can't imagine movies like Fargo, Raising Arizona or O Brother Where Art Thou - as good as they are - were number one for that long (or at all). Maybe in a country like Estonia where box office isn't exactly a well-reported statistic? Nevertheless, this is merely proof that distributors are idiots and didn't take advantage of the obviously empty schedule to put in something that people might've gone to see instead of re-heated left-overs like The Women and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which have guzzled up decent returns despite nobody being interested.

I wouldn't be surprised to see it remain at number one next week either considering the offerings in store for Australian cinema patrons. Diane Lane and Richard Gere's Night in Rodanthe is it's most likely champion since the Aussie flicks Newcastle and Dying Breed probably won't amount to much (sadly). Has anybody seen either of these films advertised? I saw a poster hanging up in Melbourne Central the other day, but that's it. And since something like this is indeed a rare occurrence I just had to take a photo. You know, for proof!

Australian film advertising: a Dying Breed

*boom tsh*


par3182 said...

i saw 'newcastle' beer coasters at the prince of wales the other night

J.J. said...

three weeks in a row? that's kind of amazing.

syms said...

Dying breed is going out on...80 screens!! Someone is confident.

Kamikaze Camel said...




I'm sorry, but that shit is HILARIOUS! And then they wonder why they don't make money. Yikes.

Ben Wilson said...

Maybe you've all been having a long sleep; there have been little TV spots all over the networks of late for Dying Breed. I found the American voice-over rather odd, I guess they want to appeal to the high school audience...? I don't know. I've stopped trying to understand Australian film.

Dave AA said...

I had a look around at the packed cinema I saw 'Burn Before Reading' in and realised it's not that surprising that so many people were there. There's two A-list stars in this film, plus it has Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich and the Cohen Bros. for art-house credibility. And its basically an undemanding comedy - it's perfect popcorn fare that will appeal to pretty much anyone. Plus the fact that it's actually quite good means it would be getting good word of mouth, so I'm not surprised that it's the Cohens most successful movie to date.

That Dying Breed poster is not too bad as a piece of design, but I can't imagine the cinemas being packed on the strength of it.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Ben, I guess I don't really watch that much tele these days, but I don't live in a cave and I haven't seen anything.

But then, if there have been commercials for it why is it getting a silly 80-screen release instead of 100+?

elopwolley said...

dying free poster at footscary station :)

Kamikaze Camel said...

I assume you mean dying breed and not that they're offering free poster dying at Footscray station.

Having said that, I haven't seen any posters for this movie at Footscray station and I tend to be there a few times a week. I'll take a look when I'm there later today.