Boy outraces the World’s Fastest Indian

Boy is on track to become one of the most successful movies to screen in local cinemas after a strong opening week but the industry is aiming for more than just the odd big film.The film – written and directed by Taika Waititi – clocked up $866,121 in its first week in New Zealand, a stronger initial performance than Sione's Wedding, Whale Rider and The World's Fastest Indian.Its opening day gross of $109,370 also put it ahead of those earlier films.

Boy is on track to become one of the most successful movies to screen in local cinemas after a strong opening week but the industry is aiming for more than just the odd big film.

The film – written and directed by Taika Waititi – clocked up $866,121 in its first week in New Zealand, a stronger initial performance than Sione’s Wedding, Whale Rider and The World’s Fastest Indian.

Its opening day gross of $109,370 also put it ahead of those earlier films.

New Zealand distributor Michael Eldred said he had never seen such positive word of mouth in 15 years of film distribution.

New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason told NBR the film was resonating with the local audience and that it was a strong example of the NZFC’s focus on appealing to the biggest audience as possible.

“When we look at new projects, it’s so important that you have something that appeals to a large cross section of the population, otherwise you’re never going to grow as an industry.”

Mr Mason said the film was getting a level of online recognition similar to that seen for Whale Rider before it travelled to other territories around the world.

While the distributors who supply the film prints and media campaigns take the bulk of a film’s returns in other countries, Mr Mason said a successful release of a kiwi film can see as much as 30% of the investment in a film returned from a single territory.

Although Boy continued the tradition seen in several individually successful New Zealand-made films released over the past decade, Mr Mason said the goal was still to produce a consistent run of successful movies.

“There were several high-profile under-performers last year, but the Film commission looks at the slate as a whole over a couple of years and there is more than just the odd success in there.

“We’ve got another strong locally-made film coming up with Gaylene Preston’s Home By Christmas, so that should keep a good run going. Hopefully we are growing to the point where the industry isn’t just relying on individual movies to boost morale.”

NBR’s review of Boy can be found here.