Blinder flops at box office

Australian film Blinder performed miserably at the box office on opening weekend.A second Australia sport-themed film has had a disappointing box office opening.

Despite a PR push from producer Sam Kekovich, Blinder took less than $50,000 on its opening weekend, despite opening on 99 screens. It averaged just $498 of takings per screen.

The AFL drama stars Rose McIver, Anna Hutchison, Jack Thompson and Angus Sampson and is distributed by Indies. Directed by Richard Gray, the film was the first to be distributed by Backlot Studios, who charge producers a flat fee.

This is the second Australian film in as many weeks to perform badly at the box office, with Brendan Cowell’s cricket flick Save Your Legs opening to less-than-ideal numbers.

Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful topped the box office, taking almost $5 million in its opening weekend, with fellow opener 21 and Over in second place with $821,576.

Oz, which stars James Franco, opened to 268 screens, making an average of $17,812 per screen.

Australian Box office March second week.

Cameron Boon


  1. Darcy
    13 Mar 13
    10:06 am

  2. Sports movies do not work in Australia. An AFL sports movie has even less hope of working in Australia.

  3. Elliot Clifford
    13 Mar 13
    10:54 am

  4. I regularly watch Australian digital TV channels – never saw a spot for this. I visit Australian news, culture and film-related news sites – never saw a banner ad. I walk/drive through the Sydney CBD every day – never saw any outdoor ads. But I saw them for all the other major releases.

    So there’s that. Another Australian film project with enough money to get produced, but without an appropriate spend for marketing.

    There’s also the fact that it’s another Australian film that wants to dive into the unappealing (to the mainstream) subject of illegal sexual behaviour. I have no doubt that many people would’ve have been keen to see a story about a club trying to come together and win the comp – until the whole ‘sex with a 15 year old melodrama’ plotline reared its head in the trailer.

    If you’re going to make a film that deals with that kind of subject matter, explores the taboo, or shows the social and personal impact, or makes a statement, or even just horrifies people and makes them appreciate their own lives a bit more through some seriously emotional catharsis – do a ‘Snowtown’.

    If you want to make a film about a footy team – don’t kneecap the project by thinking people want a bit of statutory rape drama with their football.

  5. Richard Moss
    13 Mar 13
    11:05 am

  6. I believe that this is an indicator of something much more problematic than just a rejection of films with a sport theme.

    Theatre has been systematically abused in Australia for decades. The notion that the film world is primarily a way of making big bucks, has gradually grown to epic proportions.

    The inner sanctum is heavily guarded, the funding system is basically corrupt and the notion seems to be one of spoon feeding the public whatever sensationalism will act as an effective opiate, just long enough to cash in at the box office.

    We must begin to make, or rather get back to making, films of theatrical merit, with a devotion to cinematic art and theatrical excellence.

    The rest will follow, as surely as the sunrise.

  7. shamma
    13 Mar 13
    11:11 am

  8. the media is full of these sorts of footy scandal stories, people don’t need to pay $19 to go to the local cinema and watch a fictional one, they can turn on the TV and get hours of this stuff each week through the football shows, news services, panel shows, live coverage, not to mention the radio, newspaper etc.

  9. Bem
    13 Mar 13
    1:13 pm

  10. Sorry Richard Moss, but I disagree that we should be making cinematic and theatrical films. Look at the top grossing films both here and around the world. People aren’t after theatrics, they’re after action, blockbuster, CGI heavy films. They are the sort of films making the money. If anything, it’s the cinematic films that Australia does produce that turned audiences away. Lets stop with the drama and the bogan comedies and start producing genre films. An action film, an adventure film, fantasy, a shoot em up. Something that will appeal to the masses!

  11. Jack B. Nimble
    13 Mar 13
    2:18 pm

  12. 1. I didn’t see a single advertisement for this anywhere, so the first time I hear of this film it’s to hear it has failed. Says something about poor marketing behind the movie.

    2/ That said, I’d not have bothered with it anyway – don’t care to watch a “sporting movie”. Maybe the producers were trying to match the US where sports movies can do very well, but that’s MUCH bigger market. I can’t see why anybody would have expected an AFL movie to do well on the big screen.

    3. This would have made more sense if it was a made-for-TV movie screened on a free-to-air channel, maybe ABC or 7 or 9, or even Foxtel..?

  13. Richard Moss
    13 Mar 13
    6:41 pm

  14. @ Bem

    There is no need to apologise Bem, I think you have mistaken the pure terms cinematic and theatrical for the common misconception that theatrical, dramatic and cinematic, refers only to artifice and overplaying.

    All films conceived to entertain, yes even Die Hard and Rambo before it, are theatrical films, in so much that they have actors playing non existent characters in non real situations. The reason that performances can seem stilted and unrealistic is often due to the absence of theatrical integrity.

    Even action scenes must be rehearsed and perfected , before they can work on the screen. The cinematic art is essential in any film, if the various moods and overall look of the film are to work effectively.

    My comments in the original, have nothing to do with high drama or arty farty cinematic effects.

    I note that your reference is to “top Grossing films” and “films making money”
    My point is that these are not the only films being made and that big money is not (or should not be) the primary reason for making them.

  15. VAFA
    14 Mar 13
    10:51 am

  16. @Elliot Clifford show me one example of a footy club (amateur or professional) that hasn’t had a player involved in some kind of ‘underage’ or ‘unwanted’ sexual act. I don’t know of any.

    I’m not having a go at footy clubs – I play for one and love it. Perhaps you’re out of touch with reality? Or is it weird to think that someone working in the Sydney CBD doesn’t “get” what happens at Aussie Rules football clubs.

    Either way I’m sure I won’t ever sit through this movie.

  17. des nugent
    14 Mar 13
    1:50 pm

  18. anyone who has a passion for aussie rules and has been involved in any role within a club would love the movie,except perhaps for a scorned romantic. great work on the negative effects of drugs and alcohol not only physically,but how they can destroy friendships through causing uncharacteristic behaviours
    An australian story well told

  19. Elliot Clifford
    18 Mar 13
    3:08 pm

  20. @VAFA, audience appeal in cinema terms does not equate to a need to see depictions of reality. This was not a documentary.

    That you insinuate that cinematic stories are bound to the realities of their setting shows a complete lack of understanding the craft of storytelling on the screen – or in any medium.

    Look at your personal list of favourite films, look at what you’ve watched this year at the cinema – did you really use the ‘Is it real enough?’ test as the first criteria to judge your appreciation of it?

    If you really think that every screen story needs to be shackled with the realities (perceived or otherwise) of the world it is depicting – I suggest you go and write a letter to Sesame Street to let them know their depiction of street life in New York is unrealistic. Or maybe the producers of Sister Act because they completely glossed over the sex scandals of the church.

    And post under your real name – demonstrate you’re happy to be accountable for what you say online. Because right now it looks like someone from the Victorian Amateur Football Association has jumped on Mumbrella and proclaimed that all the clubs under their banner are involved in sex scandals. And I bet they don’t want that.