The NZ box office has ended the first half of the year comfortably ahead of its 2015 numbers, its weekly earnings never once falling behind last year’s.
At the mid-point of the year, the box office take was $104,881,887, almost 6% and $6 million ahead of 2015.
Taika Waititi’s still-in-cinemas Hunt for the Wilderpeople (pictured, top) has been the largest single contributor to the total. Although it won’t pass the $14.5 million+ that Star Wars: The Force Awakens took last year, Wilderpeople does have more than twice the take of the year’s second best performer to date.
The five best-performing titles so far in 2016 are Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Deadpool, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
At the recent NZMPIC awards, Star Wars took the Distributor Marketing Campaign gong as well as the box office award. Wilderpeople took the Independent Distributor Marketing Campaign award, although its late March release date kept it out of the running for this year’s NZ box office gong.
Even without Wilderpeople, NZ titles have mostly performed well so far this year. Born to Dance, which returned to cinemas in January, and Mahana – both of which played this year’s Berlinale – took over $1 million each. Indie release Three Wise Cousins came very close to $1 million, closing earlier this month with over $977,000.
Festival-premiered docos Tickled, Crossing Rachmaninoff and notes to eternity have all had good runs for a combined take of over $250,000.
Escalator title Orphans & Kingdoms and indie The Great Maiden’s Blush have had decent limited releases. 25 April is the only local title so far this year whose box office performance (below $20,000) could really be described as disappointing – a shame as the Toronto-premiered and Annecy competition title is certainly not disappointing.