Ray Lawrence's Jindabyne hashad the biggest opening week for any Australian film so far this year grossing$928,000 (A$1.2m) from 65 screens.

The film, which was released on July 20, also had the biggest openingamong local films on less than 100 screens since Muriel's Wedding in September 1994. Distributor Roadshow has nowwidened the film to 86 screens.

Adapted from one of the Raymond Carver short stories used by RobertAltman in Short Cuts, Jindabyne is director Lawrence'sfollow-up to his 2001 film Lantana.

Lantana was released byPalace on only 15 screens but expanded to about 100 and ended up grossing $9.3m,making it the eleventh biggest Australian hit of all time.

Rabbit-Proof Fence did similarbusiness to Jindabyne in its firstweek but was on 30 more screens. It went on to do $5.7m. Japanese Story took $512,000 in its first week from 40 screens andeventually grossed $3.4m.

Jindabyne beat Kokoda to become the best performer of2006. The war film took $728,000 from 94 screens in its first week and grossed $2.39m.

Jindabyne had a screenaverage of $14,257 and was the third most popular film of the week. Top of thechart was Pirates Of The Caribbean: DeadMan's Chest, which took $3.5m (A$4.65m) for BVI from 480 screens in itsthird week on release, followed by MySuper Ex-Girlfriend with $1.27m (A$1.67m) from 212 screens for Fox.