The New Daily: “The Rover fails at Box Office, but …”

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That’s a pretty sensational heading right.  It grabs your attention, which leaves me to believe from some of the comments I’ve seen on twitter that people just read bylines but don’t actually read the entire article because, to me, the article is a pretty positive spin even if the attention grabber makes you believe differently.  Giles Hardie for The NewDaily wrote:

The Rover debuted outside the Top 10 box office earners, despite opening on a relatively high number of screens for an independent Australian film. Grossing a disappointing $143,000, the average across 41 screens was a little under $3,500 per screen which implies many a near-empty screening.

One senior Australian producer described this as disastrous, indicating the film’s backers would have been hoping for 10 times that figure after the movie impressed critics at Cannes Film Festival a few weeks ago and has since had a very high profile publicity campaign in Australia, alongside largely glowing reviews.”

Really 10 times?  So they wanted it to open at $1.4 million?  For an indie film in limited release?  It is limited release right – have they checked the screening times for some of these.  It’s not playing every 30 mins – in fact I work so if I wanted to see the film I’d have to hotfoot it to a 6.40 or 7.00 pm screening or wait until 9.00 pm on a weeknight.  And that’s if you live in the city.  I know lots of people that are travelling 2 hours to get to a screening or having to wait to make a weekend of it in a major city.  Anyway I’m not making excuses, but it’s not a blockbuster and I’m sure all involved would have loved for it to make 10 times, but … (see I can do that too).

Giles goes on to say:

“Nonetheless, while the studio and producers will be frustrated, the film should be chalked up as a success for its key players.

For Michod, it represents the critical second film. The statement making next step after his debut feature Animal Kingdom blew up at Sundance Film Festival landing him firmly in Hollywood’s sights.

The Rover also arrives two years after Robert Pattinson’s final Twilight film which still clunks in the memory, though clearly louder in Pattinson’s. Since that time he has tried and failed to step out of the (presumably glittery) shadow of Edward Cullen, with maligned efforts such as Bel Ami and Cosmopolis.

And it is a little over 10 years since Guy Pearce’s own collapse. His “mini nervous breakdown.” When too much work and pot smoking left him hating the industry. Since then he has been incredibly careful with his role selection, taking long breaks in between at home in Melbourne. The result has been some outstanding work but mostly as villains or in smaller, important supporting roles.

For all three men, this was a big decision. The choice to do any film is considerable given time and career pressures. The Rover represented a potential turning point for this impressive trio.

The price of success for Michôd was being forced to choose, to stick or twist. Did he pursue the Hollywood dream or take on perhaps the bigger challenge, attempting a second Australian film that still advanced his career.

In many ways The Rover is the perfect second movie for Michôd. With a third already in place that is essentially guaranteed a high profile, having agreed to write and direct The Operators for Brad Pitt’s company Plan B, with Pitt also starring. As such, the core requirement becomes cementing a filmmaking reputation for style, substance and quality, something The Rover achieves admirably.

For Pattinson this could be the film that demonstrates more than just a desire to be thought of as an actor, not as RPatz. Playing the puppy-like Rey, a mentally simple Southern American, requires the sort of skills associated with the best character actors. It is a role that would highlight even the smallest acting flaw. Pattinson never looks like stumbling, instead swiftly disappearing into the part.

Guy Pearce is one of those actors. …. The result is a performance that perfectly caps off Pearce’s decade. A captivating near anti-hero so layered and subtle that award nominations seem destined.

For for the two actors the immediate aftermath couldn’t be more distinct. Pattinson will be a regular feature on our screens as he pursues his metamorphosis … Pearce will remain Australia’s most easygoing and least celebrated megastar. “

After full read it appears to be pretty positive for all involved to me.  Click on link to read full article.

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