Aussie shark film Bait struggles in opening box office weekend

Australian sharksploitation film Bait has struggled to find an audience at local cinemas in its opening weekend at the box office.

Directed by Kimble Rendall and distributed by Paramount, the 3D film about a group of customers stranded in a shopping mall after a tsunami strikes, only to be harassed by a great white shark, was filmed in the Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast.

The film took $365,000 according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

Made for an estimated $20m, the film opened across 283 screens for a $1,290 screen average in tenth spot in the top 20 films this week.

However, reviews for the film have been positive and the film opens after screening in official selection at the 69th Venice International Film Festival earlier this month.

It stars A Few Best Men’s Xavier Samuel, Nip Tuck’s Julian McMahon, Home and Away’s Sharni Vinson, Puberty Blues’ Dan Wylie and Tomorrow, When the War Began’s Phoebe Tonkin.

Cate Shortland’s Lore opened in limited release by distributor Paramount/Transmission. The  film opened across just 11 screens to take $5,866 screen average for a total of $64,558. The film recently screened at Toronto International Film Festival.

In its third week, Kath & Kimderella added another $558,000 to take it to $4.819m while The Sapphires added $441,000 taking its total to $12.73m. Storm Surfers 3D took $64,558 taking the film to $607,000 and I Am Eleven made another $2075 on just five screens taking the film to $282,000.

In the battle for the school holiday audience new animated feature film Hotel Transylvania was unable to tackle the latest in the Madagascar franchise.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, distributed by Paramount topped the box office this weekend taking $2.597m across 532 screens for a $4,882 screen average.

Sony’s Hotel Transylvania took $1.311m across 454 screens for a screen average of $2,889.

Also in time for school holidays, Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Dog Days opened on $975,000 across 236 screens for a $4,132 screen average while Ruby Sparks, also distributed by Fox, took $549,000 across 209 screens for a $2,626 screen average.

Also screening in its first weekend is Indian film Heroine, distributed by Mindblowing Films. The film took $77,000 across just 14 screens for a $5,501 screen average.


    24 Sep 12
    7:02 pm

  2. Is this set at Bondi Junction?

  3. guy
    24 Sep 12
    7:57 pm

  4. Paramount has got Madagascar 3 in the bag. Everything is handed to them from their Hollywood studio like every other major release. Why would they even bother try to help out an Aussie film? All the talk about supporting the local industry, blah blah blah…
    And to top it off, releasing Bait on school holidays against a gazillion other kids film.

  5. Wayne
    24 Sep 12
    10:42 pm

  6. That would almost be original had not 15,436 sceenwriters not done basically the exact same plot before….

  7. Generic name?
    25 Sep 12
    10:04 am

  8. Maybe they should call it ‘Sharks in a Mall’ for the US release.

  9. Harry
    25 Sep 12
    11:50 am

  10. Bait is a complete waste of taxpayer’s subsidy. Derivative, B grade genre picture. If you’ve got nothing original to add to the genre forget it. And these films can be made a lot cheaper in the US anyway. The big winner is the international sales agent who takes a 25-30% commission on every sale and the loser is the taxpayer as this film has no hope of recouping its budget.

  11. Dante
    25 Sep 12
    1:05 pm

  12. Looks great!

  13. Derryn Hinch
    25 Sep 12
    1:53 pm

  14. sorry i dont think i’ve ever seen a shark attack movie where the victims were trapped in a flooded mall after a tsunami – sounds very original to me and i liked the trailer. i wish them well.

  15. Eleonore Fox
    25 Sep 12
    2:08 pm

  16. Gave it a chance, saw it with an open mind, a numbing terrible experience. Paying to see this horrendous film is bad enough but paying extra for 3D, i want a refund.

  17. Gina
    25 Sep 12
    2:23 pm

  18. Actually the team at Paramount would have put more hours into working on Bait than Madagascar 3 @guy. If you’ve ever worked for a film distributor you’d know that working on Australian film takes 5 times more effort, patience and creativity than working on a US release.

    Perhaps if film tickets weren’t so ludicrously over priced and Australian cinema goers hadn’t been exposed to years of abuse by Australian film makers then perhaps, just perhaps, Australian films would do better at the box office….even if they are a derivative B-grade genre picture.

  19. John Grono
    25 Sep 12
    3:00 pm

  20. I much preferred Kimble’s work in the XL Capris in the late ’70s.. Mind you … great company name – Killer Bald Men (think about it folks).

  21. Rob Towner
    25 Sep 12
    3:35 pm

  22. That film heroine didn’t seem to find an audience either… So passe

  23. Bing Bong
    25 Sep 12
    6:29 pm

  24. I still want to see it despite all the (predictable) negativity heaped on by the industry – sometimes audiences like to watch big dumb movies and I’ll totally admit that this includes me. If we had to watch smart sophisticated movies all the time that would be pretty gruelling, especially when you sometimes just want explosions and visceral thrills and stupid action and horrendous one liners. Awesome!

    Also I’m hoping no-one takes any of these comments to heart, as Harry above has provided a pretty outdated (and under researched) view from the sidelines. Those sorts of absurd sales commissions are not really seen anymore, and in this case the sales agent is also a producer on the film. So not sure how his theory stacks up there.

  25. guy
    25 Sep 12
    8:29 pm

  26. Kudos to Gina for the reply. My god, 20 million dollars it cost!!! Even at 2 millions budget you would cringe at that return. Perhaps a better time to release it is around Halloween time, or near a summer beach season. Not in the first week of spring school holiday. I think BAIT is a great title, regardless of the film quality.

  27. Kristin
    26 Sep 12
    10:04 am

  28. Hi THE GREY GHOST – Pretty sure this was filmed at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast. At least that’s where my sister saw a heap of extras running from a pretend tsunami…