South African Box Office numbers for last weekend are out and Liefling has made a solid debut at number one with R 1 923 899. Check out the full chart and analysis after the jump.
1. [New Entry] Liefling (Hartiwood Films) Weekend gross: R 1 923 899. Lifetime gross: R 1 923 899
2. [New Entry] Red (Summit) Weekend: R 988 693. Lifetime: R 988 693
3. Unstoppable (Fox) Weekend: R 845 954. Lifetime: R 2 537 973. 2nd Week
4. [New Entry] Jackass 3D (Paramount) Weekend: R 693 068. Lifetime: R 693 068
5. Life As We Know It (Warner Bros.) Weekend: R 674 574. Lifetime: R 5 366 575. 4th Week
6. Despicable Me (Universal/Illumination) Weekend: R 437 197. Lifetime: R 14 104 636. 8th Week
7. The Social Network (Columbia) Weekend: R 286 319. Lifetime: R 1 894 653. 3rd Week
8. Eat Pray Love (Columbia) Weekend: R 274 963. Lifetime: R 11 597 632. 7th Week
9. You Again (Touchstone) Weekend: R 273 552. Lifetime: R 1 361 463. 3rd Week
10. Takers (Screen Gems) Weekend: R 203 128. Lifetime: R 2 287 460. 4th Week
Overall box office receipts are up around 33% from last weekend mainly due to the fact that 3 relatively big movies opened this weekend compared to only one last weekend. As usual an Afrikaans movie that most non-Afrikaans speaking people haven't even heard of opens to big numbers at the box office. Love them or hate them, these movies almost always make their money back and then some. I think that all other local filmmakers could learn a lesson or two from the makers of these kinds of films, with the most important being that you must know your target market and make an at least half-decent film that will appeal to them and they will reward you with their bums on seats watching your film in cinemas on its opening weekend. Although I'm not necessarily a fan of his work, I admire Leon Schuster simply because he realises that at the end of the day the film business is exactly just that: a business. I feel like currently there's too much focus on getting films to play at film festivals and foreign art-house cinemas instead of focusing on making mainstream, entertaining films for a South African film audience that has been starved of quality local content. Not that there's anything wrong with these "arty" films but I believe that the local film industry will only ever truly become self-sustaining once filmmakers and their financiers start consistently making entertaining films that can appeal to large sections of the South African market. Until then they will continue to depend on the government for large portions of their funding and you don't need a PhD in Economics to see that's not how things should be done in a successful capitalist society.
Source: Box Office Mojo